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Top Rated, In Stock Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 11/29/2019 - Rhone Valley

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is home to some of the world’s most profound and cellar-worthy bottlings. This standing was further buttressed by a string of wildly successful vintages which includes 2015, 2016, and 2017. These are exciting times for Châteauneuf with the region’s winemakers further honing their craft, delivering resplendent expressions that excite both critics and collectors alike. The top wines from here are notable for their layered complexity, excellent structure, and striking longevity. We are fortunate to have deep, in stock reserves of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which includes many of the region’s biggest names. These highly coveted bottlings are never around for long after they hit the market and demand stands at an all-time high. No wine collection is complete without a solid representation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Featured here is an in stock selection of the region’s best.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2016 Domaine La Barroche "Signature" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $55) 95 Price: Hidden View
2015 Domaine de Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 $44.99 View
2016 Domaine Santa Duc "Habemus Papam" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 $44.99 View
2016 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 $49.99 View
2016 Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique "Les Hesperides" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 $49.99 View
2017 Roger Sabon "Réserve" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 $49.99 View
2016 Tardieu-Laurent Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 94 $49.99 View
2016 Xavier Vignon "Cuvée Anonyme" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 $49.99 View
2016 Domaine Santa Duc "Les Saintes-Vierges" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 $54.99 View
2017 Roger Sabon "Prestige" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 $59.99 View
2016 Domaine Santa Duc "Le Crau Ouest" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 $69.99 View
2009 Pierre Usseglio "Cuvée de Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 $69.99 View
2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 $74.99 View
2017 Clos Saint-Jean "Combe des Fous" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 $119.99 View
2017 Le Clos du Caillou "La Réserve" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 $139.99 View

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2016 Domaine La Barroche "Signature" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $55) Price: Hidden

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The quality of what could be considered the "entry-level" cuvée from Barrot is the equivalent of most estates top wine, and the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Signature delivers the goods again. Its almost too good and certainly not far behind the Pure cuvée. A blend of 62% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, and the rest Cinsault, Syrah, Vaccarèse, and Clairette Rose, brought up in foudre and demi-muid, it sports a head-turning bouquet of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, crushed herbs, and pepper. With a big mid-palate, full body, ripe tannins, and a rocking finish, its a no-brainer purchase that will keep for two decades." (08/2018)

94 points Vinous: "Shimmering ruby. Powerful raspberry, boysenberry and floral scents show excellent clarity and take on subtle smoke and allspice nuances as the wine opens up. Juicy and penetrating on the palate, offering appealingly sweet red and blue fruit and spicecake flavors that deepen on the back half, with no loss of energy. Silky, well-knit tannins make a late appearance on a very long, seamless finish that emphatically echoes the floral and spice notes. This is an outstanding entry-level bottling. (JR)" (12/2019)

94 points Decanter: "Potpourri and dried Provençale herbs on the nose. In the mouth it is rounded, immediately juicy and intense, but piercingly fresh. A pâté de fruit, red and black fruit character on the palate is accompanied by very fine but ample tannins. It's intense but lifted, structured, complete and harmonious. Very long and well balanced. All you could want in a classically-styled yet contemporary Châteauneuf. Drinking Window 2019 - 2028." (MW)" (10/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A terrific entry-level offering, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Signature is a blend of 62% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah, 6% Cinsault and 2% other varieties. It's full-bodied and intense but silky and almost weightless, delivering wonderful, complex notes of cherries, raspberries and an array of dried spices and herbs. With 2,500 cases produced, it should be fairly widely available and reasonably priced. (JC)" (08/2018)

Staff ImageJames Bradshaw | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 09, 2019

This wine is pure deliciousness. Beautifully composed, harmonious, concentrated, and expressive, this 2016 has everything going for it. Like the best 2016s, it is ready to go straight out of the gate but has enough acid, tannin, and structure to last another twenty years. The wines from La Barroche have always shown exceptionally well (if a tad on the rustic side), but this 2016 takes things to another level. Sleekly styled and modern without being too modern, there's not a single flaw to detect. Pick up a few bottles for the near term and a few more for down the lineit is sure to delight at every stage of what is certain to be a long, illustrious life.

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2019

What a brilliant Châteauneuf. Starting off, it shows beautiful, lifted aromatics that keep you coming back to the glass. On the palate it shows a deft balance of lively acidity to showcase brambly berry fruit, fig, leather, and a textured minerality that gives it a wonderful sense of place. This is a great showcase for the 2016 vintage, combining freshness and depth. It it relatively light on it's feet and relies more on structure than volume. Drink now with a decant or enjoy anytime over the next decade-plus.

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2019

Young Julien Barrot of Domaine la Barroche is a name to remember, only in his 30s he is already becoming world-renowned for fashioning some of the greatest young Chateauneuf-du-Papes currently available in the market. The Signature is stunning from the very first sniff from the glass where aromas of Asian spice, marzipan, baker's chocolate and cassis liqueur all slowly rise from the glass. The palate is alive with flavors of blackberry and cassis jelly buffered by lively acidity and fine tannins. The finish is long and supple with spice and berry flavors slowly fading away in perfect harmony.

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2015 Domaine de Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($44.99)

96 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried roses, garrigue herbs and red fruit with terrific purity and freshness. Lithe raspberries on the bright, even and crisp palate. Fabulous, fresh acidity, depth, length and power here. A kick of bitter herbs on the finish. Classic. Drink or hold." (07/2018)

93-95 points Vinous: "(raised in concrete tanks) Brilliant ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented aromas of ripe red berries, cherry pit, potpourri and musky rhubarb, backed by a hint of Asian spices. Sweet, concentrated and seamless in texture, offering intense raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille flavors and a touch of licorice. Impressively suave and focused; a powerful jolt of candied flowers carries through the long, palate-staining finish. (JR)" (03/2017)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Tasted from bottle, Bravays's 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is filled with notions of framboise, ripe strawberries, spice and dried flowers. It's not the biggest, baddest wine he's ever made, but it has beautiful purity and elegance, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, sweet tannin, and a great finish. It's well worth your time and money, and I'd be thrilled to drink bottles over the coming decade or more." (10/2017)

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2016 Domaine Santa Duc "Habemus Papam" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($44.99)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Still in foudre, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Habemus Papam looks to have softened considerably since I tasted it last year. Floral-herbal notes accent ripe cherries, while the palate boasts a wonderfully rich, creamy texture. Full-bodied, with supple tannins, this tour de force is long, silky and elegant. Young Benjamin Gras appears firmly in control of the winemaking at this benchmark estate put on the map by his father, Yves. The estate has been certified biodynamic by Demeter beginning in 2017, so when those wines are eventually released, they'll be the first vintage thus labeled. Those wines went into foudres for aging just a week before I arrived to taste the wines in mid-June. Most of the bunches are still destemmed (60% to 70%), and the wines undergo a cold maceration of about a week prior to ferments that max out around 25 degrees Celsius. Maceration times and extraction have been steadily reined in by Benjamin, who emphasizes elegance over power. Considering the 2015 and 2016 vintages, Gras said, 'I prefer 2016. The lab analyses are quite the same, but 2016s have more vivacity.' He considers 2017 to be more accessible than 2016, which he calls fresh. Most of the wines age in foudres, although portions of several wines spend time in amphorae. From an estate that used to be about ripeness and power, it has evolved rather quickly into one that's more about elegance and terroir expression. (JC)" (08/2018)

95 points James Suckling: "Very suave, intense and detailed wine with an array of ripe, red fruit, dark berries in the blue-to-purple spectrum and a swathe of wild herbs. Gently spicy play of oak. The palate has a very composed and focused feel. Long, fine, even and plush tannins. Drink in 2020." (07/2018)

92-94 points Vinous: "Limpid ruby. Deep, smoke-accented dark berry and violet pastille scents are energized by a jolt of peppery spice. Smoky, sweet and broad in the mouth, offering concentrated boysenberry and cherry liqueur flavors and a hint of candied licorice. Shows very good power and energy and finishes with excellent persistence, featuring velvety, late-arriving tannins and a discreet touch of gaminess. (JR)" (07/2018)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Habemus Papam is another fresh, medium to full-bodied, classic wine from this estate. Giving up ample red and black fruits, ground pepper, new leather, and garrigue-like aromas and flavors, its nicely textured, has remarkable purity, and ripe tannins. Drink it any time over the coming 10-15 years." (09/2018)

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2016 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($49.99)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Bottled in March, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (80% Grenache) was brought up in a mix of concrete (mostly) and foudre. It gives up sensational notes of kirsch liqueur, white flowers, graphite, candle wax, and spice. This rich, full-bodied, yet seamless Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a powerful, balanced style that's going to keep for 15-20 years. It's a gorgeous wine." (08/2018)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah, aged predominantly in concrete and foudre. Biodynamically farmed and traditionally made, it reached 15.5% alcohol, which shows a bit in the wine's size and slight warmth. It's full-bodied, rich and velvety, with bold black cherry fruit, hints of clove and cola and a long, savory-spicy finish. (JC)" (08/2018)

93 points Vinous: "Brilliant red. Highly perfumed red fruit liqueur, potpourri and Moroccan spice scents show impressive vivacity and focus. Sappy, alluringly sweet and precise, offering palate-staining raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of spicecake. Closes very long and smooth, displaying excellent focus, even tannins and emphatic, floral-tinged persistence. (JR)" (07/2018)

Staff ImageJames Bradshaw | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 28, 2019

Domaine de Marcoux is making some of the very Châteauneuf-du-Papes in the market today. For evidence, one need look no further than this gorgeous 2016. Perfectly blending old-world with new, it serves up ample fruit, while also delivering captivating earth tone, modest spice, and a long and engaging finish. Even at this young age, the wine is expressive, giving, and supremely satisfying. Consistently among the most affordably priced CdPs, this top-tier 2016 would be a welcome addition to any cellar. When folks talk about balance in wine, this is precisely what they have in mind. This is a wine to come back to again and again over the next twenty years.

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2016 Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique "Les Hesperides" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($49.99)

95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "I think even better, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Hesperides reminds me a great vintage of Beaucastels Hommage A Jacques Perrin. A blend of equal parts Mourvèdre and Grenache, all from the les Bédines lieu-dit (this is all sandy soils), it offers sensational notes of blueberries, plums, peppery herbs, licorice, and violets. Full-bodied, decadent and layered, with an incredible opulence that makes it almost impossible to resist, I suspect it will shut down shortly after bottling, yet emerge with 4-5 years of cellaring and keep for two decades.Located near Courthezon, La Bastide Saint Dominque is run with incredible talent by Eric Bonnet. The 2015s are certainly impressive, and the 2016s are the finest wines Ive tasted from the estate." (10/2017)

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2017 Roger Sabon "Réserve" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($49.99)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Réserve is largely in the same ballpark and has terrific notes of blackberries, smoked earth, garrigue, and pepper. Its based on 80% Grenache and 10% Syrah and Mourvèdre brought up in foudre and cuve tronconique tanks. More concentrated as well as focused, it's medium to full-bodied, has brilliant concentration, ripe, present tannins, and a great finish. It's another awesome wine from this estate." (08/2019)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Inky in hue but resoundingly floral and packed with red berries and black cherries, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve is full-bodied and rich, yet it never seems heavy or overdone, with silky tannins and refreshing savory hints of herb, Asian spices and cracked pepper on the lengthy finish. It's probably the best value among the various cuvées this year. (JC)" (08/2019)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Solidly built, with a dark and winey core of black currant, fig and blackberry paste flavors, laced liberally with bay leaf, tar and black tea accents. Offers a smoldering feel on the finish as the fruit drips over a cast iron note. (JM)" (07/2019)

94 points Decanter: "There's a little more Grenache in the blend compared to Sabon's Prestige, grown in La Crau and La Grenade, all destemmed, and fermented in half concrete, half tronconic vat. It's then aged in foudre and tronconic vat. The resulting wine is reminiscent of sun-warmed plums and berry fruits in coulis, with a touch of star anise. It's full-bodied and generous, with ripe fruits, good acidity and muscular tannins. The quality fruit and long finish demonstrate the skilled, non-intrusive winemaking here. Should be good value. (MW)" (10/2018)

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2016 Tardieu-Laurent Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes ($49.99)

92-94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A wine well worth the extra effort to track down will be the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes. A step up over the classic cuvée, with both more richness as well as elegance, it offers perfumed aromatics of black raspberries, spice cake, incense, and flowers. Beautifully concentrated, with a terrific mid-palate, it will keep for 15+ years." (10/2017)

94 points Vinous: "Vivid magenta. Ripe cherry and boysenberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of exotic spices, woodsmoke and cola. Powerful, sharply focused red and blue fruit flavors show impressive depth as well as energy and pick up a sexy floral nuance as the wine opens up. Smooth, steadily building tannins lend shape to a strikingly long, penetrating finish that leaves resonating floral and red fruit notes behind. (JR)" (12/2019)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly mulled plum, raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors form the core here, with steeped anise, black tea and juniper hints adding detail. The tight-grained finish shows nice focus. (JM)" (05/2019)

93 points James Suckling: "Nice composure and balance of fruit and oak here. Ripe, dark berries and plums are framed in baking spices and deliver a meaty, dense palate. Big fruit and crisp, intense tannins here." (08/2018)

Jancis Robinson: "85% Grenache (80 to under 100 years old), 10% Syrah (50 years old), 5% Mourvèdre (60 to 80 years old). 66% destemmed. Terroir: La Crau, Les Cardioles, Coste Froide, Cabrières, Bois Dauphin. Ageing: 12 months in one-year-old barrels plus 12 months in foudre (Allier -- Tronçais). Mid crimson. Real lift to this wine. Very aromatic and then so sweet and round on the palate! You want to gobble it up immediately. The tannins can, just, be discerned underneath but its already all charm, spice and intensity. Great balance -- though no shortage of alcohol 18/20 points (JR)" (09/2017)

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2016 Xavier Vignon "Cuvée Anonyme" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($49.99)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme is the flagship and is mostly Grenache that was sourced from numerous terroirs throughout Châteauneuf-du-Pape and brought up in a mix of tank and barrels (some new). It offers a rocking bouquet of black raspberries, blueberries, lavender, Asian spices, and graphite. Like all of Xavier's 2016s, it has purity, freshness, and richness, yet still packs ample richness and depth. Give this full-bodied, elegant red another few years, and it will keep for a decade. 95+" (08/2018)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The striking 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme is 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and the rest minor varieties (there's no Syrah). Aged in a mix of foudres, demi-muids, barriques and concrete tanks, it shows hints of mocha and toast on the nose, but the blackberry and red plum fruit is mouthwatering and fresh, richly concentrated and spicy. Full-bodied, it manages to be ripe, silky and concentrated, while remaining crisp on the lengthy finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. (JC)" (10/2018)

93 points Vinous: "Brilliant magenta. Expansive red and blue fruit, floral pastille, exotic spice and vanilla qualities on the highly fragrant nose. Broad and seamless on the palate, showing appealingly sweet Chambord, boysenberry, lavender and spicecake flavors that pick up a zesty mineral flourish with air. Plenty rich but lively as well. Finishes impressively long and smooth, with resonating florality and velvety, slow-building tannins. (JR)" (12/2019)

92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of roses and purple cherries, as well as cassis, leading to a palate that delivers a very fresh, vibrant core of blue and purple berries. Drink or hold. (NS)" (10/2019)

K&L Notes: Xavier Vignon. One of the finest winemakers you’ve never heard of. Xavier keeps a low profile, though he’s the mind behind a number of seriously high profile estates in Chateaneuf du Pape. Raymond Usseglio, La Gardine, Jerome Quiot, Beaurenard, La Nerthe, Mont Redon, Marcoux and Grand Veneur. That’s a few big-time names, right? So when it came time for Xavier and his partners to make their own signature Chateauneuf, you’d probably have a pretty good idea that the wine would be damn fine. Oh, yeah, it’s damn fine and then some. Cuvée Anonyme - named as such because if he told you where he got the fruit for this wine from, he’d have to kill you... And the guy likes to have some fun. Hey, wine is fun, right? His blends are thoughtful, innovative and the shot in the arm that the southern Rhone needs right now. Young talented vintner, fabulous vines served up on a silver platter, monster adoration from the press, we see a lot of parallels here with the Westside Paso posse (Saxum, Linne Calodo, etc.). The only exceptions being the vines are older, and the wines aren’t as pricey. Hmm - this is making a heckuva lot of sense right about now.

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 15, 2019

Xavier Vignon has, over several decades, advised, consulted with and built formidable relations with some of the finest names in the Southern Rhone and this provocative, nameless wine is a superb expression of what can be achieved with creative barrel treatments, consummate knowledge of terroir and magisterial blending. Aromas of violets, plums and blueberries followed by a lavish crush of dark fruits, kirsch and exotic spices flood the palate, with silky tannins entwined throughout the bravura finish. Drink up!

Staff ImageChris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 27, 2019

As good as you'd expect from a winemaker as prolific as Xavier Vignon, this is a Chateuneuf Du Pape that carries itself with style, with a vanilla cola core and tight herbal notes framed by well-developed, but equally well-rounded, tannins. Drinking it now certainly isn't out of the question but if you can get through the normal finicky midlife of a Chateauneuf this should be singing in a decade.

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2016 Domaine Santa Duc "Les Saintes-Vierges" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($54.99)

96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rich, full-bodied and creamy-textured while simultaneously appearing almost weightless, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Saintes Vierges looks even better than last year. Cola, spice and stone fruit notes provide plenty of flavor interest, lingering on the long, lush finish. (JC)" (08/2018)

92-94 points Vinous: "Brilliant violet. Mineral-accented cherry and raspberry preserve scents show excellent clarity and suggestions of garrigue and allspice. Silky and seamless on the palate, offering appealingly sweet raspberry, cherry compote and floral pastille flavors and a spicy kick of white pepper. The floral nuance carries through an impressively long finish framed by smooth, interwoven tannins. (JR)" (07/2018)

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Saintes Vierges offers more garrigue, lavender, and spice, and has fabulous complexity in its aromatics. Possessing lots of black cherry and raspberry fruits, medium to full body, and beautiful elegance, its already hard to resist yet will be even better with 2-3 years of bottle age and drink nicely for decade or more." (09/2018)

93 points James Suckling: "A riper and rounder expression with almost essence-like plums and mulberries, swathed in languid, open-knit tannins. Dark, spiced-plum finish. Id drink this on the fresher side of its life span. Drink or hold." (07/2018)

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2017 Roger Sabon "Prestige" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($59.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Including more Syrah, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Prestige is 70% Grenache 20% Mourvèdre, and the rest Mourvèdre and other permitted varieties. While its brought up mostly in foudre, it has 10% in demi-muids and 30% in cuve tronconique. With thrilling purity of fruit, notes of black raspberries, blackberries, ground pepper, garrigue, and a distinct sense of minerality, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ripe, sweet tannins, a beautifully opulent texture, and a great finish. It's another rock star of a 2017 from superstar winemaker Didier Negron." (08/2019)

95 points Decanter: "Grown across a variety of soils in lieux-dits Les Brusquières and Cabrières, the fruit is fermented half in stainless steel and half in concrete, then aged in foudre, tronconic wooden vats and 10% demi-muid. The result is a wine with a nose of dark chocolate, smoky tea and herbs, leading to a very full-bodied palate that's generous in fruit but also has great purity. The weight of fruit hides the mass of grippy, ripe tannins, and it's very well balanced. With very persistent fruit, this is a superb expression of Châteauneuf. Drinking Window 2021 - 2030. (MW)" (10/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...It's a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% other permitted varieties that seems more subdued than the Reserve, although it does have some of the same floral and black cherry notes. It's full-bodied, creamy and rich, with a long, velvety finish that carries hints of chocolate and licorice. (JC) 94+" (08/2019)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Dark in profile, with steeped currant, fig and blackberry fruit, infused with lots of licorice root, tar, bay leaf and singed alder notes. A bit brooding in feel through the finish, but the fruit is pure. This should open up soonenough. (JM)" (07/2019)

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2016 Domaine Santa Duc "Le Crau Ouest" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($69.99)

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Full-bodied, yet silky-airy-lacy in texture, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape La Crau Ouest is a marvel of elegance and finesse. Wonderfully detailed notes of ripe cherries, dried spices, rose petals and back tea expand on the palate, revealing great intensity, complexity and length. (JC)" (08/2018)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Reminding me of a Grand Cru red Burgundy, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Ouest (all Grenache from sandy soils) offers up a big blast of red fruits, spice, white flowers, and graphite. Its beautifully detailed, delineated, and pure, with medium body, no hard edges, and a great finish. Shining more for its elegance and purity than power and richness, its going to drink brilliantly for 10-15 years." (09/2018)

94 points James Suckling: "Beautiful, bold and pristine blackberries and black cherries. This has abundant energy and freshness. The palate has a sweet, succulent and vibrant core of tangy blackberries and black raspberries. Full of promise. Drink in 2020." (07/2018)

91-93 points Vinous: "Full ruby. Ripe and expansive on the nose, displaying powerful dark berry, lavender and garrigue scents along with hints of cola and woodsmoke. Smooth and weighty on the palate, offering plush, sweet black currant and cherry flavors sharpened by a snap of cracked pepper. Becomes livelier with air and finishes very long and gently tannic, leaving a suggestion of candied flowers behind. (JR)" (07/2018)

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2009 Pierre Usseglio "Cuvée de Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($69.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another wine that got better and better over the evening was the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul. I've drunk through my fair share of bottles of this over the past few years. It has never shut down and has always shown well. A ripe, forward and sexy wine, it has lots of kirsch, garrigue, exotic spice and floral notes to go with a ripe, concentrated feel on the palate. It certainly has the vintage's Provencal character and is an exuberant, hedonistic Grenache to enjoy over the coming 10-12 years. (JD)" (09/2015)

93 points Vinous: "Full ruby. Intense black raspberry and mulberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of Asian spices, licorice and musky herbs. Bright and sappy on the palate, with a seamless texture to the spice-accented red and dark berry compote flavors. Notes of lavender and allspice carry through the long, juicy, nicely focused finish. I suspect that this wine will drink well on the young side. (JR)" (01/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator: "This ripe red offers layers of linzer torte, cassis and blackberry fruit piled on top of well-rounded tannins. Loads of spice and licorice ripple through the finish, with an underlying iron hint. Shows the focus and polish of the vintage. Best from 2012 through 2020. (JM)" (11/2011)

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2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($74.99)

95 points Decanter: "At Beaucastel the Grenache and Cinsault are fermented in cement while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are fermented in foudre. The result features finely pixellated fruits of the forest on the nose, with a full-bodied but mightily fresh and lively palate. The Mourvèdre element is strong this year, bringing vibrancy and power. It's firmly savoury, very dry and dramatic. A very tannic year has produced a seriously structured Beaucastel for the long term. (MW)" (10/2018)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, its not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades." (08/2019)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The full-bodied, dense 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape seems a bit closed at the moment, but Asian five spice powder still brings plenty of complexity and nuance to the rich, dark fruit aromas and flavors. (JC)" (08/2019)

95 points Wine Spectator: "A dark and winey style, offering a mix of plum, black currant and black cherry notes, infused with black tea, fruitcake and anise accents. Solidly built, vibrant and energetic from start to finish, this carries copious fruit easily through the lengthy finish. (JM)" (11/2019)

93-94 points Vinous: "Dark bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruit liqueur, incense, smoked meat and candied lavender qualities on the deeply perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that tighten up and turn livelier with air. Shows plenty of energy for a hot-vintage wine and finishes impressively long and chewy, with mounting tannins and repeating smoke and floral notes. (JR)" (12/2019)

Jancis Robinson: "Rich, succulent black fruit with wonderful clarity and effortless depth. A real masterclass of the appellation, with meaty complexity on the palate as well as persistent fragrant spices. Spot-on balance to finish, even though the tannins are still very brash and furry. Certainly needs age, and should be a really wonderful investment. 18/20 points (RH)" (10/2018)

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2017 Clos Saint-Jean "Combe des Fous" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($119.99)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "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." (08/2019)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "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. (JC)" (08/2019)

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2017 Le Clos du Caillou "La Réserve" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($139.99)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "More closed, yet still loaded with potential, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Reserve offers a tight, reserved bouquet of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with ample spice box, mineral, and meaty notes developing with time in the glass. Full-bodied, concentrated, and straight on the palate, it has beautiful depth and richness, yet needs 4-5 years of bottle age." (08/2019)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...Hints of cedar and vanilla from aging in 20% new demi-muids accent ripe black cherries in this full-bodied, silky-textured but concentrated wine that once again manages to combine richness with airiness, power with elegance and features a finish that lingers while being refreshing at the same time. It's still a major-league contender for wine of the vintage. (JC)" (08/2019)

96-97 points Vinous: "Opaque ruby. Explosive red berry preserve and spicecake aromas are complemented by hints of smoky minerals, incense and candied lavender, and a subtle licorice note emerges with aeration. Juicy and impressively concentrated yet surprisingly lithe, offering sweet raspberry, cherry liqueur and floral pastille flavors and an exotic five-spice powder flourish. The extremely long, energetic finish features resonating florality and smooth tannins that merge quickly with the wine's clinging, sweet fruit. (JR)" (12/2019)

96 points Decanter: "Grown on sand in lieux-dits La Guigasse and Pignan, the fruit is destemmed and fermented in tronconic vats, then matured mostly in demi-muid, and 10% in amphora, for 14 months. It has very precise loganberry fruit with a hint of balsamic lift on the nose. It's medium- to full-bodied with no heaviness, and there's a pleasing lightness of touch despite the fact it's built on a firm foundation of ripe tannin. A very long finish shows off the wine's great finesse, with a gentle mineral undertow. Intense, elegant and textural. (WK)" (10/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Juicy and focused, with a long beam of cherry, plum and raspberry puree flavors running through, flanked by light apple wood and red licorice details. The fresh and sleek finish makes this accessible now, but theres plenty of fruit in reserve. (JM)" (07/2019)