- Item #: i_345737Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96eROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: "Only produced in top vintages (this is the first since 2012), the 2015 Cornas Vieilles Fontaines comes from 80-year-old vines within the La Fontaine lieu-dit. It's a tough wine to evaluate at this stage, as it's quite closed and reticent on the nose, showing some crushed-stone notes and typical granite-based austerity, but on the palate it shows great purity of fruit and vigor. It's full-bodied but tight-laced, focused on driving through the long finish like a thoroughbred down the stretch. Give it at least 5 years in the cellar"
- Item #: i_350236Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95Wine Spectator: 96WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Considered by Paul-Vincent to be a hypothetical blend of the '05 and the '07, the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing its Mourvedre component on this occasion and had lots of kirsch, spice-box, dried flowers, Provencal garrigue and cured meat on the nose. Full-bodied, ripe and voluptuous, yet still showing the telltale elegance and seamlessness that's the hallmark of this great estate, it can be enjoyed today or cellared for another decade or more.(9/2015)
- Item #: i_352147Bottle Size: 750mlVery dark. There is an aroma of stylish black berry fruit inside the bouquet, which has an oaked, grilled outer, black cherry, the fruit clear, some nutshells also. This is sleekly fruited, with crisp tannins, mineral, vin de terroir within the oak. There is a close link between nose and palate. It drives along on a smooth route, presents very fine juice. Graphite and close-knit juice appear on the finish. "It is square, runs straight down the line, has graphite, minerality.
- Item #: i_345175Bottle Size: 750MLeROBERT PARKER 91-93 POINTS: "Looking at the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape, which is still aging in foudre, Paul-Vincent normally does four separate blends and keeps them in separate foudre (one with more Mourvedre, one with more Syrah, etc.) before blending everything together prior to bottling. However, due to the miniscule crop in 2013, he was only able to do a single blend. Nevertheless, I was able to taste it from multiple foudres (and unsurprisingly, each showed dramatically different), with most rating in the low to mid-90s. From excruciatingly low yields and hitting 14.8% alcohol, it’s clearly an outstanding wine and has pretty, complex aromatics, excellent concentration, medium to full-bodied richness and lively acidity. There’s a slight Burgundian feel here, and I suspect it will be reasonably approachable in its youth, with 10-12 years of overall longevity."
- Item #: i_352348Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Decanter: 96 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 97-99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96-99 POINTS: "The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape looks to be a huge success and reminds me of the 2007. As is normal, Vincent keeps multiple foudres with different blends (as well as a foudre of the final blend), and it's always incredibly educational tasting through the different barrels. The final blend has a classic, sweet bouquet of kirsch, spices, and garrigue, and it's full-bodied, deep, and thrillingly concentrated on the palate. The blend is shifted more toward Mourvèdre due to the tiny quantity of Grenache in the vintage, which makes me think this cuvée might close down shortly after bottling, but it's upfront and incredibly expressive today."
DECANTER 96 POINTS: "There's 10% less Grenache in the blend this year, topped up with extra Mourvèdre which certainly makes itself felt. The final assemblage has a lovely depth and concentration of fruit, and is relatively tannic and structured in this vintage. It has plum and violet lift to the aromatic profile, and perhaps sacrifices a little elegance for power and potency in 2017 - not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your taste. A Clos des Papes for the depths of the cellar."
ROBERT PARKER 94-96 POINTS: "Paul-Vincent Avril and I tasted from several foudres of the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape. Foudre #17 was Syrah-heavy, with plenty of blueberry and blackberry fruit tinged with licorice. Full-bodied and rich, it was also silky and long (93 - 95 points). Number 19 was 55% Grenache and 45% Mourvèdre, more floral, herbal and spicy, with black cherry fruit and ample concentration (95 - 97 points). From #18, an approximation of the final 60,000-bottle blend, the wine was full-bodied and velvety, ripe and concentrated without going over the top, with cherry and blueberry fruit that lingered on the finish (94 - 96 points). According to Avril, the 2017 will be approximately 45% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the balance mainly Syrah, and a finished alcohol of about 15.3% (less than in 2016) Tasting in the cellar at Clos des Papes with Paul-Vincent Avril is an experience not to be missed, as he drops winemaking facts and philosophical nuggets into every discussion. With the focus on crafting only a single cuvée of red and white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a visitor inevitably misses out on many of the decisions that led to the blending of any given foudre's contents, but it is easier to see a picture of the overall vintage, at least as seen through the lens of Avril's winemaking. Grenache yields in 2017 were approximately 15 hectoliters per hectare, versus 25 hectoliters per hectare in 2016, so there is much less wine, and the 2017 Clos des Papes will have a higher proportion of Mourvèdre."
- Item #: i_351941Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97-99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 - 99 POINTS - "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Combe des Fous is the classic blend of mostly Grenache mixed with a small amount of Syrah and Vaccarèse. It's a huge, unctuous effort that packs an incredible amount of blackcurrants, garrigue, pepper and dried flowers into its balanced, elegant, layered personality. It picks up a charcuterie meatiness with time in the glass, as well as the telltale melted licorice characteristic of perfectly ripe Grenache. Count me as a fan and this heavenly juice shouldn't be missed by any Rhône lover."
- Item #: i_333944Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 93-95Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsROBERT PARKER 97 POINTS: "The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous is full-bodied, rich and velvety, yet it also possesses more freshness and concentrated berry fruit than the Vieilles Vignes bottling. An absolute beauty of a beast, it delivers ripe raspberries and cherries, a gentle dusting of Asian spice and a long, long finish."
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous checks in as a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarèse and Cinsault, raised in tank and demi-muids. Kirsch liqueur, white flowers, graphite, ground pepper, and obvious minerality all emerge from this ethereal yet powerful, concentrated 2017. It's very much in the more Provençal, elegant style of this vintage, yet has classic Clos Saint Jean purity, style, and power. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Item #: i_352780Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98Jeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsROBERT PARKER 98 POINTS: "With its more discreet oak and layers of complexity, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Deus Ex Machina is my favorite release here this year. Layers of dried spices accent raspberries and cherries in this full-bodied, rich and velvety wine. It's more complex and complete than either the Combe des Fous or the Sancto Santorum, longer on the finish and supremely elegant."
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) shows more classic Mourvèdre notes, with blackcurrants, Asian spices, crushed violets, cured meats, and graphite all giving way to a power packed, opulent, hedonistic 2017 that does everything right. Incredible depth of fruit, building tannins, no hard edges, and a finish to die for are all part of the package."
- Item #: i_351784Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Jeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsROBERT PARKER 99 POINTS: "A wine that might rival the 2001 when all is said and done, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de La Reine des Bois is an incredible effort that does everything right. Possessing a voluptuous, decadent and super-rich profile, it stays graceful and perfectly balanced, with beautiful freshness, a stacked mid-palate and a blockbuster finish. Opening up in the glass, with copious blackberry, cassis, graphite, violets and spring flower-like nuances, it needs another 2-3 years of bottle age, and will have upward of three decades of overall longevity."
- Item #: i_351812Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "A blend of roughly 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah that was brought up in 60% new barrels, the sensational 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape la Reserve Secrete is a big, concentrated bruiser whose inky purple color is followed by tons of jammy blackberries, hints of cassis, spice and violets aromas and flavors. Its oak elevage has been completely absorbed by its wealth of fruit, and this full-bodied Chateauneuf du Pape has a stacked mid-palate, building tannin and a great finish. It's just now starting to be drinkable, yet it still needs short term cellaring and will drink well for two decades or more."
- Item #: i_345739Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 95-97 POINTS: "The 2015 Cote Rotie was scheduled to be bottled the day after my visit, so I tasted the final blend from tank. Jean-Paul describes the vintage as a cross between 2009 and 2010, adding that "as it's aged, it's gotten less broad and longer." The warmth of the year hasn't detracted from the wine's floral aromas, and the berry fruit is still fresh but concentrated. This medium to full-bodied wine is rich and tannic but also ripe and almost creamy on the mid-palate, finishing with hints of tapenade. It should begin to drink well by age 10, although it's far from unapproachable now. Aside from Guigal, I know of no other producer with such extensive experience with so many of Côte Rôtie's various lieux-dits. Tasting at Jamet hilltop cellar is always a study in geology and microclimate more than anything else, as the winemaking is resolutely traditional. All of the Côte Rôtie parcels are vinified as whole bunches, and there's still only a small proportion of new wood in the cellars, so it's possible to really taste nuances in the various barrels. Jean-Paul Jamet is always gracious with his time and wine, making it a true pleasure to visit."
JEB DUNNUCK 95-97 POINTS: "The 2015 Côte Rôtie was scheduled to be bottled not long after my visit. This is an undeniably great vintage at this address, even if Jean-Paul prefers his 2016s, calling 2015 'too much.' It’s worth pointing out that he thought the same about his 1991, which is a borderline perfect wine today. The 2015 sports a deep ruby/purple color to go with searing notes of pepper, smoked meats, flowers, and assorted black and blue fruits. With full-bodied richness, a concentrated, thick mid-palate, sweet, yet present tannin, and a huge finish, this is a wine to back up the truck for. A warning, however -- it’s not for those looking for instant gratification. Readers looking for classic, old-school, age-worthy Cote Rotie should look no further than the wines from Jean-Paul and Corinne Jamet. While 2015 is an incredible vintage for this estate, the 2016s are also some of the more impressive in the appellation."
- Item #: i_351140Bottle Size: 750mlFrancois Villard La Brocarde comes from vines planted on the Cote Blonde with up to 13% Viognier in the blend. The wine takes its name from the La Brocarde lieu-dit. The berries are whole cluster fermented and up to 30% of the grapes are destemmed. The wine is aged in between 80% new, French oak barrels to 100% new, oak, depending the character of the vintage. The wine spends close to 18 months in barrel before bottling. The production is quite small as only 100 cases are produced in an average year.
- Item #: i_350060Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95-97Wine Spectator: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96-98 POINTS: "Scheduled to be bottled just after this visit, the 2015 Côte Rôtie Château D'Ampuis reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of smoked black fruits, caramelized blackcurrants, leady herbs, ground pepper, and earth. It's deep, rich, massively concentrated, and a powerhouse of a wine that’s going to need bottle age, but wow, what a wine! The big news at the Guigal estate is the purchase of Domaine de Nalys in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The family has always wanted an estate in the South, and Nalys is an unrealized treasure trove of awesome terroir and old vines, both of which I’ve no doubt will be maximized by this talented family. In addition, the former winemaker at Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Jacques Desvernois, has joined the team, and while it’s not clear exactly what his role will be, I suspect he will largely lead the charge at Domaine de Nalys. Either way, Desvernois is an incredible talent and can only add to what is already a well-oiled machine. As to the wines reviewed in this report, I was able to taste multiple vintages of each of the cuvées and have listed the wines by cuvée as opposed to by vintage, which is how we tasted through the wines."
WINE SPECTATOR 97 POINTS: "A gorgeous core of steeped raspberry, boysenberry and fig fruit gives this a showy side. A lush structure flows underneath, while long echoes of warm ganache, black tea and espresso linger. The fruit keeps this in the suave and alluring camp overall, though there’s plenty of grip for cellaring. Best from 2022 through 2042."
ROBERT PARKER 95-97 POINTS: "The 2015 Côte Rôtie Château d'Ampuis finally approaches the lofty goals set for it by the Guigal family. It’s a bit toasty from the barrel but full-bodied, ripe and concentrated. Loaded with tannins and black raspberry fruit, it’s silky at the same time, leaving behind lingering traces of mocha and roasted meat on the long finish."
- Item #: i_350862Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Wine Spectator: 97Decanter: 96 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 98-100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 98-100 POINTS - "Incorporating 8% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah and 5% other permitted variety, 60% destemmed, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes sports a deep, inky color as well as sensational notes of black currants, smoked meats, earth and crushed rocks. Deep, rich, unctuous and decadent, with huge extract and richness, yet never over the top or overripe, it's a killer wine that's going to flirt with perfection on release."
WINE SPECTATOR 97 POINTS - "This is packed with plum, raspberry and blackberry confiture flavors that are youthfully wound up, while warm stone, anise, bay leaf, garrigue and tar notes fill in throughout. Dense but juicy, with a long, smoldering feel on the finish."
- Item #: i_352157Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98Decanter: 98 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "The 2016 Côte Rôtie La Côte Blonde (from the lieu-dit of the same name—not a blend of sites) is a terrific effort. It blends the structure of la Viallière with the elegance of la Landonne, making it a truly complete and compelling bottle. Some mocha, black olive and meaty notes lend it a savory cast, while the palate is creamy and concentrated, firm but silky. It's medium to full-bodied, with a fine, licorice-tinged finish that lingers a good long time. It should drink well for 20+ years. When I arrived at the domaine, I went in an opened door and came upon René Rostaing, who was putting labels on bottles for shipment to the United States. I told him I had an appointment and he said, "Let me get the boss." We went across the street to the winery building, where he handed me off to his son Pierre, who is fully in charge of the winemaking now. He cranked the ventilation fan up to high so we could taste in the cellars, despite ongoing fermentations above. Following up on his exciting 2015s, both the 2016s and 2017s look similarly outstanding. He's releasing two additional single-vineyard wines (Côte Brune and La Viallière) from the 2016 vintage as an homage to his ancestors, with label designs from the past (Gentaz-Dervieux and Dervieux-Thaize). Of course, quantities are tiny, but not only are the labels retro-cool but the wines are damn good also.
DECANTER 98 POINTS - " No destemming here, aged in mostly old demi-muids with no more than 10% new oak. A captivatingly pretty floral fragrance can be coaxed out along with aniseed and blackberry notes, but it's tightly wound for now. The rounded palate is dense, with good concentration of red fruit and delightfully perfumed juniper. Soft tannins coat the mouth, and oak is present but well judged. There's good balancing acidity and a lovely, gently mineral seam leads onto a long, saline, savoury, piercing finish. Real detail and precision."
- Item #: i_352152Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Wine Spectator: 95Decanter: 97 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsDECANTER 97 POINTS - "Aged in demi-muids - a maximum of 10% new oak - with no destemming. It has that austere mineral character on the nose so typical of La Landonne. It is rounded, with good concentration and ripeness, matched with ample, piercing acidity and bristling with fine, fresh tannins. Its intensity comes primarily from its structure and mineral content rather than the fruit, and it is incredibly energetic and lively on the palate. Powerful and very well balanced in a structural, chiselled style, this is in an altogether different league from his Ampodium, with a good balance of fruit, flowers and mineral scents."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Subtle notes of baking spices frame hints of tea, olives and raspberries on the nose of the 2016 Côte Rôtie la Landonne. A paragon of elegance, it's medium to full-bodied, but silky from start to lingering finish. It's a wine that's pretty much guaranteed to make even the steeliest curmudgeon smile, as it's so bright, ephemeral and luscious. It's not the rich, ripe wine the 2015 is, but it's suave, complex and lonG."
- Item #: i_350466Bottle Size: 750ml"Unquestionably one of the reference point estates, not only for Gigondas, but for the entire Southern Rhone" - Jeb Dunnuck
"Louis Barruol remains the acknowledged leader of the Gigondas AOC. The vigneron keeps Chateau de St.-Cosme operating on the highest level" - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
"These single vineyard releases are year in, year out, some of the most impressive wines from the Rhone valley." - Wine Advocate
We just received a limited allocation from the iconic Rhone producer, Chateau de Saint Cosme. These critically acclaimed wines consistently receive high praise and scores from wine critics. The Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck and Decanter Magazine all weighed in on these amazing wines from the excellent 2016 vintage.
Chateau de Saint Cosme is the leading estate of Gigondas and produces the benchmark wines of the appellation. The property has been in the hands of the Barruol family since 1570. Louis Barruol took over from his father in 1992 making a dramatic shift to quality and converting to biodynamics in 2010.
Barruol makes a classic Gigondas as well as three amazing single vineyard releases from the estate which lies in the heart of Gigondas. The vineyards grow in the shade of the Dentelles de Montmirail Mountains and benefited from the ideal 2016 vintage which boasted warm, dry days balanced by cool nights. The wines are not destemmed and are aged mostly in older barrels, with a small portion in new barrels." These wines are singular and the depth of flavor of these cuvees are truly something to behold.
These are world-class wines and this is a great opportunity to grab a few bottles for the cellar. The highly desirable wines from Saint Cosme are very limited. When they're gone, they're gone!
JEB DUNNUCK 97-99 POINTS - "Coming from Barruol’s favorite vineyard located on just up the hill from the domaine, the 2016 Gigondas Le Poste is another huge wine, and probably the richness, ripest example of this cuvee I’ve tasted. Possessing almost overflowing amounts of blackberry fruits, graphite, spring flowers and huge minerality, it offers awesome purity, full-bodied richness, and a great, great finish. I can’t wait to taste this from bottle. Louis Barruol’s Chateau de Saint Cosme is unquestionably one of the reference point estates in Gigondas, as well as the entire southern Rhône Valley. The estate lies just to the east of the village and covers 25 hectares, with 15 of those in Gigondas. He makes a classic Gigondas as well as four single vine releases from single vineyards located around the estate. The wines are not destemmed and aged mostly in older barrels, with a small portion in new barrels. "
eROBERT PARKER 94-96 POINTS - "The 2015 Gigondas le Poste is a classic expression of this vineyard and shows the more elegant, perfumed style that always comes from this site. Violets, flowers, raspberries, blueberries and green herbs all emerge from this full-bodied, lengthy and impeccably balanced Gigondas that has ultra-fine tannin and perfectly integrated acidity. Brought up just like the other two single vineyard releases, this beauty will be more accessible in its youth, yet I suspect it will age just as long."
- Item #: i_352485Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "Even better (as well as a perfect wine), the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Collection Charles Giraud checks in as a nominal blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre that was brought up in demi-muids. It reveals a deep purple color as well as heavenly notes of blackberry and currant fruits intermixed with loads of cured meats, spice box, Asian spices, and a distinct loamy soil and minerality. Always more structured and powerful than the Reserve Auguste Favier release (no doubt due to the Mourvèdre component), it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building yet polished tannins, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. Pure perfection in a glass, it’s as good as wine gets. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following two decades. Hats off to winemaker Isabelle Ferrando for yet another thrilling wine!"