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Region Producer Vintagesort descending Name Qty Unit Case Size Format Price Note Rating
Rhone Jaboulet-Aine 1978 Hermitage La Chapelle 1 Bottle 75cl £950£850
  • Robert Parker''s Wine Advocate 26/06/2000 Opaque plum/garnet-colored, with a fabulously sweet, youthful bouquet of licorice, incense, smoked meats, pepper, and blackberry/cassis fruit, the full-bodied 1978 La Chapelle is extremely young with astonishing vigor, velvety tannin, and a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, layered personality. The finish lasts for over 60 seconds. Remarkably fresh and not yet fully mature, the super-concentrated 1978 should continue to age well for another three decades. Anticipated maturity: now-2030 Opaque plum/garnet colouredm with a fabulously sweet, youthful bouquet of licquorice, incense, smoked meats, pepper, and blackberry/cassis fruit, the full bodied 1978 La Chapelle is extremely young with astonishing vigour, velvety tannins, and a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, layered personality. The finish lasts for over 60 seconds. Remarkably fresh and not yet fully mature, the super-concentrated 1978 should continue to age well for another 25 years. Anticipated maturity: Now-2030. (100)

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Avril 1990 CNDP Clos des Papes 1 Case 12 75cl £2,400
  • From a fabulous vintage, the 1990 is one of the greatest offerings from Clos des Papes. This was the last vintage vinified with 100% stems, and the result is a full-bodied, opulent, sweet, multidimensional, expansive Chateauneuf du Pape. It has hit its plateau of maturity, where it should rest for 10-15 years. Terrific! 

    Importer: Alain Junguenet, Wines of France, Mountainside, NJ; tel. (908) 654-6173
    Add to Print List

    Rhone Book 
    Jan 1997 Robert M. Parker, Jr. 94 Drink: 2000 - 2015 $270-$588
    The 1990 is Avril's finest wine since his terrific 1978. It exhibits an impressive opaque, dark ruby/purple color, a pronounced nose of sweet cassis and black-cherry fruit, an attractive, expansive sweetness and ripeness on the palate, and a powerful, long finish, with plenty of tannin, glycerin, and alcohol. This wine, a classic, authoritatively flavored wine, is much more backward than many 1990s. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015. Last tasted 6/96.

    Wine Advocate #103
    Feb 1996 Robert M. Parker, Jr. 93 Drink: 1996 - 2007 $270-$588
    These classic Chateauneuf du Papes need considerable cellaring. I always like to challenge my own opinions and, yes, both wines require 4-6 more years of patience. They may be impressive, but they are, but they are

    Wine Advocate #83
    Oct 1992 Robert M. Parker, Jr. 92 Drink: 1996 - 2007 $270-$588 (25)
    The 1990 red Chateauneuf du Pape is Avril's finest wine since his terrific 1978. It exhibits an impressive opaque, dark ruby/purple color, a pronounced nose of sweet cassis and black-cherry fruit, an attractive, expansive, sweetness and ripeness on the palate, and a powerful, long finish, with plenty of tannin, glycerin, and alcohol. This wine is much more backward than many 1990s, and would benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring. A classic, authoritatively flavored wine, it should age gracefully for 12-15 years.

    Proprietor Paul Avril is one of Chateauneuf du Pape's most visible and articulate winemakers. While his wines are among the most classic examples of the appellation, they are also among the least flattering to taste when young. In top years, such as 1989 and 1990, they are meant to last for 15-20 years. 

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Brunel, Andre 1990 CNDP Les Cailloux Cuvee Centenaire 1 Bottle 75cl £360
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2003 - 2020

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    1st Jan 2003

    Source

    E2003, The Wine Advocate

    One of the greatest vintages for Andre Brunel, aside from his extraordinary succession of vintages from 1998-2001 is 1990. The perfect Cuvee Centenaire is still dense ruby/purple-colored with a sumptuous nose of white flowers, raspberry and cherry liqueur, smoke, and mineral scents. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by an unctuously-textured, pure wine that combines the best of Chateauneuf du Pape with the floral, earthy complexity of a great grand cru red Burgundy. This is a riveting tour de force in winemaking. Don’t miss it. Anticipated maturity: now-2020. From this impeccably run estate, Andre Brunel produces 7,000 cases of a traditionally made regular Chateauneuf du Pape, and, when possible, about 500 cases of Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire. The Cuvee Centenaire emerges from 114-year old Grenache vines (about 80-85% of the blend), which is combined with younger-vine Syrah and Mourvedre. Approximately half of the blend spends time in new oak casks, and half in neutral foudres or vats. Brunel, who is one of the most articulate spokespersons of Chateauneuf du Pape, continues to fine tune his winemaking, always trying to enhance the fruit and texture. That has been apparent over recent vintages, although some of the old classics are not to be missed.

     

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Guigal 1990 Cote Rotie La Landonne 1 Bottle 75cl £575
  • The 1990 La Landonne is a perfect wine! Fortunately, more than 800 cases were produced. It possesses an opaque black color, and a huge, truffle, licorice, cassis, and peppery-scented nose. While it is one of the most concentrated wines I have ever poured across my palate, it is perfectly balanced, with adequate underlying acidity, huge extraction of ripe fruit and tannin, and a phenomenal 70-second or longer finish. This is the essence of Syrah! Give this monumental wine 7-10 years of cellaring; it will last for 40-45 + years. 

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Beaucastel 1992 Chateauneuf du Pape 1 Case 12 75cl £595
Rhone Vieux Telegraphe 1994 Chateauneuf du Pape 1 Case 12 75cl £690
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2003 - 2013

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    1st Jan 2003

    Source

    E2003, The Wine Advocate

    A sleeper vintage for Vieux-Telegraphe is 1994. Because this vineyard tends to mature quickly, the extraordinarily hot, dry summer allowed this estate to harvest in late August and early September, long before many other properties could, and before the rain began. The 1994 offers sweet floral, blue and black fruits intermixed with dried Provencal herbs, tree bark, and earth. Powerful, concentrated, and close to full maturity, it will last for another decade. Moreover, this wine sells for a song since the vintage does not have a reputation such as 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.   

Tasting Notes
93
Rhone Chapoutier 1996 Ermitage Vin de Paille 2 Case 3 37.5cl £180
  • Rating

    (96 - 99)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    1997 - 2047

    Reviewed by

     Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 1999

    Source

    121, The Wine Advocate

    What I found striking about the 1996 Vin de Paille was that the nose was identical to white truffles, something I had had my share of a week earlier when I was in Piedmont.  

Tasting Notes
99
Rhone Trevallon 1997 Domaine de Trevallon 6 Bottle 75cl £65
  • 1997 Vintage
    Jancis Robinson
    When to drink: 2009 to 2019
    Pale red. Stinky. Not quite enough fruit and it seems to have aged pretty fast. It’s certainly proper wine but is not very fruity or appealing. Jancis Robinson
    Tasted: 1-Jul-2013
     

Tasting Notes
Rhone Clape 1997 Cornas 1 Case 12 75cl £1,725
  • Rating

    (88 - 90)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    1999 - 2009

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 1999

    Source

    121, The Wine Advocate

    Clape's 1997 Cornas flirts with an outstanding rating. The wine boasts a saturated purple color, as well as a sweet, blackberry-scented nose with violets, tar, and truffle-like aromas. Medium to full-bodied, with low acidity, excellent purity, and light to moderate tannin, this is an atypically soft, expansive, forward Cornas that should drink well when released, and keep for a decade or more. 

Tasting Notes
90
Rhone Chapoutier 1998 Ermitage de l'Oree 1 Bottle 75cl £120
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    $253

    Drink Date

    2001 - 2049

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2001

    Source

    133, The Wine Advocate

    The 1998 Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree's explosive bouquet offers a liquid minerality, honeyed tropical fruits, peaches, and acacia flowers. Amazingly, the 100% new oak treatment has been totally absorbed. The wine is extremely full-bodied, fresh, and pure, with an immense palate presence as well as finish. Drink it over the next 4-5 years, or forget about it for a decade. 

Tasting Notes
99
Rhone Font de Michelle 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape 1 Case 12 75cl £230
  • The 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape has turned out to be a seductive, gorgeously classy example of the appellation. Notes of cured olives, herbes de Provence, leather, soy, smoked meats, and black cherries soar from the glass of this complex, evolved wine. In the mouth, there is a combination of strength, elegance, full body, and purity. It is a sexy, complete, generously-endowed, plump effort to drink over the next 12-14 years.

Tasting Notes
90
Rhone Sabon, Roger 1998 CNDP Le Secret de Sabon 1 Bottle 75cl £250
  • Rating

    100

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Aug 2014

    Source

    214, The Wine Advocate

    A rock-star 1999 that's drinking at point (like most wines in the vintage today), it should continue to evolve nicely going forward. Shockingly good, the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape le Secret du Sabon tastes like a hypothetical blend of the 2007 and the 2001. Powerful, massive, concentrated and beautifully ripe, it offers notions of kirsch, currants, peppered meats, Asian spice and licorice in its seamless, yet voluptuous and hedonistic personality. It's a crazy good bottle of wine that could be considered over-the-top by some, but who cares when it's this good? If I had bottles, I'd line them up for drinking as you don't want to miss this beauty while it's drinking at point. A brilliantly run estate, Domaine Roger Sabon covers close to 44 acres that are spread throughout the appellation, and the wines have been made by Didier Negron since 2001. This retrospective focused on their top cuvee, the Secret du Sabon, which is a field blend of roughly (the exact blend is a "secret") 90% Grenache with the balance other permitted varieties (from 100-year-old vines), that-s aged all in 600-liter barrels. While the first released vintage was 1998, they also bottled a small amount in 1990, 1995 (the only one I've tasted? superb) and 1996. 

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Chapoutier 1998 Ermitage Le Meal Blanc 1 Case 6 75cl £625
96
Rhone Courbis 1999 Cornas La Sabarotte 1 Case 6 75cl £200
Rhone Beaucastel 1999 CNDP Hommage Jacques Perrin 2 Bottle 75cl £185
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2014 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2015

    Source

    217, The Wine Advocate

    Similar to the 2004 and made from a blend of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Counoise, the 1999 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin is a perfumed, gorgeously rich effort that excels on its elegance, complexity and length. From a cooler year and possessing bright acidity, full-bodied richness and building tannin, it offers up a smorgasbord of cured meats, licorice, dried flowers, spice and sweet berry fruit. Drinking nicely now, it should continue to evolve gracefully for another two decades.

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Font de Michelle 1999 Chateauneuf du Pape Etienne Gonnet 1 Case 6 75cl £135
  • Red-ruby. Deeper, sweeter, more complex nose features spicy redcurrant, violet pastille, game and underbrush. Dense, sweet and highly concentrated, but with the firm acid structure of the vintage. Finishes very long, with tongue-dusting but fine tannins.

    Score: 91+ Stephen Tanzer, Vinous Table (vinous.com), January 2002

Tasting Notes
91
Rhone Jasmin 2000 Cote Rotie 1 Case 12 75cl £775
  • Rating

    87

    Release Price

    $42

    Drink Date

    2003 - 2010

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Jun 2003

    Source

    147, The Wine Advocate

    The medium ruby-colored 2000 Cote Rotie does not possess a great deal of power or richness, but it offers an elegant, superficial yet pleasant, herb-tinged raspberry and cherry character with hints of vanilla and white flowers in the background. Enjoy this delicate Cote Rotie during its first 5-7 years of life. The son of the late Robert Jasmin continues to demonstrate a fine touch with his elegant, finesse-styled Cote Roties, which emerge from three hillside vineyards above the village of Ampuis.  

Tasting Notes
87
Rhone Jaboulet-Aine 2000 Hermitage La Chapelle 1 Case 6 75cl £480
  • Rating

    86

    Release Price

    $165

    Drink Date

    2005 - 2012

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Jun 2003

    Source

    147, The Wine Advocate

    The dark ruby-colored 2000 Hermitage La Chapelle possesses light to medium body, high acidity, sweet cherry and black currant fruit, but a leanness and tartness that are surprising in a wine of this fame and stature. The finish is austere and hollow. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2012.   

Tasting Notes
86
Rhone Domaine de la Solitude 2001 Chateauneuf Reserve Secrete 1 Case 6 75cl £535
  • Rating:

    98

    Price ($)

    NA

    Drink Date

    2008 - 2022

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Oct 2016

    Source

    227, The Wine Advocate

    Easily my favorite in the retrospective, the 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape la Reserve Secrete (60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, aged mostly in small barrels) flirts with perfection and is a heavenly Chateauneuf du Pape that I wish every reader could taste. Possessing off-the-hook complexity in its ripe dark fruits, garrigue, tobacco, olive and cigar-laced aromas and flavors, this beauty is full-bodied, gorgeously concentrated and layered, with fine, elegant tannin and a blockbuster finish. Possessing both elegance and power, it's a quintessential Chateauneuf du Pape that's drinking at point!

Tasting Notes
98
Rhone Sabon, Roger 2001 CNDP Le Secret de Sabon 1 Bottle 75cl £255
100
Rhone Usseglio, Pierre 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Deux Freres 2 Case 6 75cl £1,050
99
Rhone Beaucastel 2001 CNDP Hommage Jacques Perrin 1 Bottle 75cl £300£275
  • I found this bottle of 2001 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin to be slightly behind a recent bottle from my cellar. Nevertheless, it was perfumed and surprisingly open, with gorgeous cedar, charcuterie, truffle, blackberry and currant-like fruit all soaring from the glass. Full-bodied, seamless and supple, with its tannin, fruit and acidity perfectly balanced, it’s just now on the cusp of moving from its adolescent stage into the early stages of maturity. Give bottles another 3-5 years and enjoy over the following couple of decades. The blend here is the classic, foudre-aged mix of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise, and 10% Syrah.

    Coming mostly from a plot of old vines located behind the estate, the Perrin Family’s Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin was first created in 1989 and is a tribute to the late Jacques Perrin, who passed away in 1978. Aged all in foudre and normally a blend of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and the rest Syrah, it’s only produced in top vintages and there’s normally a scant 400-500 cases to go around. It’s an incredible, yet atypical Châteauneuf du Pape due to its high Mourvèdre content. While most vintages require upwards of a decade of cellaring, the more forward, sexy vintages can certainly be enjoyable in their youth as well.
     

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Mordoree 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape La Plume du Peintre 6 Bottle 75cl £260
99
Rhone Beaucastel 2004 CNDP Hommage Jacques Perrin 6 Bottle 75cl £175
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2034

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2015

    Source

    217, The Wine Advocate

    The 2004 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin continues to show well, and was even more open from this bottle than from one earlier this year. While still youthful, it has beautiful complexity and depth on the palate, and certainly offers plenty of pleasure. Dark fruits, spice, cured meats, truffle and licorice all flow nicely to a full-bodied, concentrated, lively feel on the palate. It has bright acidity and fine tannin, and while it will never have the sheer decadence of a bigger year, it shines for its complexity, elegance and length.

Tasting Notes
95
Rhone Mordoree 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape La Plume du Peintre 6 Bottle 75cl £375
99
Rhone Beaucastel 2005 CNDP Hommage Jacques Perrin 2 Bottle 75cl £215
  • Rating

    97+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2020 - 2055

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2015

    Source

    217, The Wine Advocate

    A classic example of the vintage, the 2005 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin is made from 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, and the rest Counoise and Syrah. Inky colored, it offers an iron, beef-blood and gamey aromatic profile to go with gorgeous purity and focus on the palate. Reminding me of the 2010, yet even more firm and focused, this full-bodied effort will need another 7-8 years to start to show maturity, and will have upward of 40-50 years of overall longevity.

     

Tasting Notes
97
Rhone Allemand, Thierry 2005 Cornas Les Reynard 1 Case 6 75cl £1,950
Rhone Chapoutier 2006 Ermitage de l'Oree 2 Case 3 150cl £625
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2009 - 2047

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2017

    Source

    229, The Wine Advocate

    More tight and reserved than the open-knit Le Meal Blanc, the 2006 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree offers a heavenly bouquet of caramelized orchard fruits, celery seed, buttered hazelnuts, orange blossom and white flowers. Just crazy good on the palate, with full-bodied richness and a seamless, unctuous texture, it has incredible purity, precision and length, with this liquid rock-like minerality on the finish. It's just about as good as it gets, and while it's drinking great today, it should keep for 2-3 decades.

Tasting Notes
99
Rhone Barroche 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Pure 2 Case 3 150cl £330
Rhone Chapoutier 2006 Ermitage de l'Oree 1 Bottle 150cl £210
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2009 - 2047

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2017

    Source

    229, The Wine Advocate

    More tight and reserved than the open-knit Le Meal Blanc, the 2006 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree offers a heavenly bouquet of caramelized orchard fruits, celery seed, buttered hazelnuts, orange blossom and white flowers. Just crazy good on the palate, with full-bodied richness and a seamless, unctuous texture, it has incredible purity, precision and length, with this liquid rock-like minerality on the finish. It's just about as good as it gets, and while it's drinking great today, it should keep for 2-3 decades.

Tasting Notes
99
Rhone Barroche 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Pure 3 Bottle 75cl £50
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2024

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    14th Sep 2015

    Source

    Special Report (Sep 2015), The Wine Advocate

    From another vintage that flies under the radar, yet always delivers tons of pleasure, the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Pure is less flamboyant than the 2005 and has more spice, ground herbs, pepper and licorice to go with a rocking core of sweet Grenache Fruit. It's full-bodied, structured and has a touch of dry tannin on the finish that I suspect will probably never completely integrate. Nevertheless, there's ample mid-palate depth and a tons of sweet fruit, which will keep anyone coming back to the glass.

Tasting Notes
95
Rhone Beaucastel 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape 1 Case 6 75cl £300
  • Robert Parker''s Wine Advocate 30/11/2009 Medium to deep garnet colour. Pretty perfume of freshly crushed raspberries / blackberries with nuances of wet leaves, cinnamon and white pepper. The medium to full bodied palate provides a good concentration of juicy berry fruit countered by medium to high acidity and a medium level of velvety tannins. Wonderfully balanced. Long finish with notes of white pepper. 13.4% alcohol. Drink 2010 - 2030. Tasted August 2009. As I stated last year, there is no Hommage a Jacques Perrin in 2006, but Beaucastel’s 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is performing even better from bottle than it did last year. Its dense plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a big, sweet perfume of black truffles, camphor, earth, incense, new saddle leather, and loads of peppery, blackberry, and herb-infused, meaty, black cherry fruit. Deep, full-bodied, and dense, with sweet tannin, this explosively rich Chateauneuf is a stronger effort than the 2005, 2004, or 2003. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028 (95)

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone Chapoutier 2007 Ermitage de l'Oree 2 Case 6 75cl £470
  • The 2007 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree reveals a light gold color as well as a rich nose of flowers intermixed with honeyed oranges, apricots, quince, and currants. Deep, full-bodied, and multidimensional, it should drink nicely for 30+ years. 
     

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Chapoutier 2007 Ermitage de l'Oree 1 Case 3 150cl £490
  • Rating

    (94 - 96)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2009 - 2039

    Reviewed by

     Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    29th Apr 2009

    Source

    182, The Wine Advocate

    The 2007 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree reveals a light gold color as well as a rich nose of flowers intermixed with honeyed oranges, apricots, quince, and currants. Deep, full-bodied, and multidimensional, it should drink nicely for 30+ years.   

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Janasse 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 1 Case 12 75cl £1,650
100
Rhone Janasse 2007 Cotes du Rhone Garrigues 1 Case 12 75cl £250
94
Rhone Sabon, Roger 2007 CNDP Le Secret de Sabon 1 Case 6 150cl £2,800
  • The 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret du Sabon is jaw-dropping good, and tops out on my scale. Crazily perfumed and complex, with layers of kirsch, crushed flowers, incense, beef blood and garrigue, it hits the palate with massive depth and richness, thrilling purity of fruit and a seamless texture that needs to be tasted to be believed. I'd happily drink bottles today, but given its mid-palate depth and no shortage of tannin that emerges on the finish, it will have no issues evolving through 2027.

    Score: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

    More closed and restrained than normal is the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon. The Sabon family has always been "secretive" about the blend used for this cuvee, but they do acknowledge that about 90% Grenache is combined with a field blend from vines over 100 years of age. Yields are microscopic, averaging 8-12 hectoliters per hectare, and the wine is aged one year in used 600-liter demi-muids. In the years it has been made (the first commercial vintage was 1998, although a small amount was made for the family in 1990, 1995, and 1996), this cuvee often borders on pure perfection (i.e., 1998 and 2001). The 2007 is too backward at this stage to go that far out on a limb, but it possesses a dense plum/purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinary perfume of cedarwood, tobacco leaf, creosote, licorice, black fruits, smoke, and a smell and taste of highly-charred meat with the essence of blood. This extraordinarily full-bodied, but forebodingly backward wine is more inaccessible than the 1998 or 2001 were at a similar stage of development, but it is an enormous, massively-endowed Chateauneuf du Pape that represents the concentrated blood of an old vineyard. The finish is virtually endless, lasting well past a minute. It will benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 25-35 years thereafter.

    Score: 97+ Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (185), October 2009

    Reminiscent of a hypothetical blend, stylistically speaking, of a 1990 and 1998, the opaque plum/purple 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon is off the charts. There are only 2,000 bottles of this limited cuvee, from a parcel of 100+ year old vines in the famed La Crau sector. Enormously powerful notes of grilled herbs, roasted meats, creme de cassis, blackberries, charcoal, and truffles emerge from this massive, super-concentrated 2007. A tour de force in winemaking, this is old vine intensity at its greatest and purest. Give it 5-6 years of bottle age, and drink it over the following three decades.Proprietor Jean-Jacques Sabon and the other younger family members are taking these wines to even greater quality heights than previously attained. The new vintages possess updated, more polished labels, but more importantly, the wines continue to go from what were very strong efforts in the past, to even deeper concentration, complexity, and depth. All four cuvees are now routinely outstanding, with the top two offerings, the Cuvee Prestige and the limited production Le Secret des Sabon, compelling Chateauneufs. As with many estates, the 2007s exhibit the vintage's succulent, juicy, incredibly pure fruit and tremendous freshness and vivacity, all packed into substantial, full-bodied wines with surprisingly high alcohols given their vibrancy. One might expect such greatness in 2007 in Chateauneuf du Pape, but the Sabons have also hit the heights in the excellent 2006 vintage.

    Score: 96/100 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (179), October 2008

    Very silky, with a beautiful beam of kirsch running through notesof pepper, incense, black tea and melted licorice. The long, supplefinish has good latent grip, while maintaining its perfumy elegance.Drink now through 2020.

    Score: 93 James Molesworth (Wine Spectator), Wine Spectator, September 2009

    Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.

     

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Clos Saint-Jean 2007 CNDP La Combe des Fous 1 Case 6 75cl £1,500
  • The 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous (meaning "Valley of the Fools"), which comes from a specific vineyard known as Les Combes, was cropped at extremely low yields of 20-25 hectoliters per hectare. Atypically for a Chateauneuf du Pape, it contains a high percentage of Vaccarese (10%), along with 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault. The Grenache was aged in tank, and the other varietals spent time in old small barrels or demi-muids. Explosive aromatics include spring flowers, boysenberries, blueberries, black raspberries, graphite, and charcoal. A powerful wine with great depth, full body, and an endless finish, it is exquisitely pure with not a rough edge to be found. It is the equivalent of liquid haute couture. The Musigny of the southern Rhone, it possesses extraordinary aromatics followed by a wine with the texture, length, and multilayered mouthfeel that are the stuff of dreams. Looking back at my tasting notes, the first thing I wrote was "whoa!" Deep plum/purple to the rim, this wine should evolve for 20-25 years, but it is already remarkably accessible. The vintage's freshness as evidenced by the lack of any excessive heat and cool nights has given an aromatic singularity to the 2007s that is largely unprecedented in my tasting experience.

    Score: 100
     

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Clos Saint-Jean 2007 CNDP La Combe des Fous 1 Case 12 75cl £2,995
100
Rhone Usseglio, Pierre 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Mon Aieul 1 Case 12 75cl £1,900
99
Rhone Domaine Giraud 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Grenaches de Pierre 1 Case 6 75cl £790
  • ating

    (94 - 96)+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2008 - 2023

    Reviewed by

     Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Oct 2008

    Source

    179, The Wine Advocate

    An extraordinary expression of old vine Grenache grown in sandy soils is the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Grenaches de Pierre. The two wines it most closely resembles are Rayas and the Barroche Pure, another 100% Grenache from the identical vineyard - Grand Pierre. Its deep ruby color reveals less saturation than the other two cuvees, and the nose offers up extraordinary scents of kirsch liqueur, sandy, loamy soil, pepper, and raspberries. Smelling like either a great vintage of Chateau Lafleur or Chateau Rayas, this is a fabulous wine. Kudos to Philippe Cambie for capturing the terroir and elusive quality of old vine Grenache that seemingly hits heights in Chateauneuf du Pape unequaled anywhere else in the world. Very full-bodied and broad with silky tannins, and ethereal to taste, this is a monumental example of Grenache to drink over the next 15+ years.. 

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Clos du Caillou 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reserve 1 Case 6 150cl £1,425£1,350
  • Rating

    98

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2032

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2017

    Source

    229, The Wine Advocate

    The largest scaled and most concentrated in the lineup is easily the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reserve, which is 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre that was raised all in demi-muids. Just a flat out sensational bottle of wine, it offers tons of black currants, licorice, roasted meats and toasted spice aromas and flavors in a full-bodied, seamless, perfectly balanced style that’s drunk well since release. It’s great today, but has another decade or more of longevity.

Tasting Notes
98
Rhone Rostaing 2007 Cote Rotie La Landonne 1 Case 6 75cl £500£445
91
Rhone Beaucastel 2007 CNDP Hommage Jacques Perrin 3 Bottle 75cl £365
  • No Hommage a Jacques Perrin was made in 2008, but the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin is an utterly perfect wine. Composed of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, and the rest Counoise and Grenache, this prodigious effort boasts an inky/blue/purple color to the rim in addition to an exceptional bouquet of camphor, roasted meats, blueberries, black cherries, black currants, truffles, beef blood, pepper, and incense. The sumptuous aromatics are followed by a wine of compelling intensity, full-bodied power, perfect balance, laser-like focus, and a finish that lasts more than a minute. The 2007's texture reminds me of the 1998 Jacques Perrin, and the freshness of the fruit and explosive aromatics are to die for. There are only 500 cases of this legend in the making, but for those lucky enough to find any, it will last for 40-60 years. Score: 100

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Chapoutier 2008 Ermitage l'Ermite 4 Case 6 75cl £550
94
Rhone Chapoutier 2008 Cote Rotie Mordoree 2 Case 3 150cl £270
  • Aromas of lilacs, crushed rocks, blue and red fruits and a gamy, earthy scent emerge from the dark ruby-hued, medium-bodied 2008 Cote Rotie La Mordoree (604 cases produced). It is complex aromatically, but seems to fall off on the palate. Nevertheless, it is a fine effort for a 2008. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. 
     

Tasting Notes
89
Rhone Chapoutier 2008 Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc 2 Case 3 150cl £850
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    $180 - 250

    Drink Date

    2011 - 2021

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2011

    Source

    193, The Wine Advocate

    There are 445 cases of the 2008 Ermitage l’Ermite Blanc. Almond paste, crushed rock, orange, mango and pineapple aromas jump from the glass of this honeyed white along with gorgeous layers of that liqueur of rocks-like note that is typical of this terroir. Unquestionably a candidate for the wine of the vintage in the entire Rhone Valley, it, like the other single vineyard white Hermitages, should drink well for 7-10 years as they are on a much faster evolutionary track than vintages such as 2009, 2007, 2006 and 2005.  

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Chapoutier 2008 Ermitage l'Ermite 2 Case 3 150cl £560
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $180 - 250

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

     Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2011

    Source

    193, The Wine Advocate

    It is an amazing achievement. Even better is the 2008 Ermitage l’Ermite (449 cases). Not as concentrated as Le Pavillon, it reveals a powdered rock character in its ink, graphite, earth, blueberry and black currant-scented bouquet. Displaying medium to full body as well as great purity, it is another amazing accomplishment from Michel Chapoutier. Interestingly, in 2008, Chapoutier decided to cut back on the new oak for all of his top cuvees (utilizing 25% versus the normal 100%).  

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone Chapoutier 2008 Ermitage Le Meal 5 Bottle 150cl £145
  • Notes of beef blood, smoked game, tapenade, creme de cassis, and charcoal jump from the glass of the dense opaque purple-colored 2008 Ermitage Le Meal (350 cases). This chewy, thick, unctuous effort is a revelation for this vintage. Enjoy it over the next 10-12 years.

Tasting Notes
92
Rhone Voge, Alain 2009 Cornas Les Vieilles Fontaines 1 Case 6 75cl £720
  • Rating

    97

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2019 - 2039

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    14th Sep 2015

    Source

    Special Report (Sep 2015), The Wine Advocate

    More ripe and exuberant than the '10, the hedonistic-styled 2009 Cornas Vieilles Fontaines offers tons of incense, flowers, black raspberries, toasted spices and violet-like aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, layered and downright sexy, it still has plenty of class and firms up beautifully on the finish. It's hard to resist now given all its fruit and texture, but there's enough tannin here to warrant 4-5 years of bottle age.

Tasting Notes
97
Rhone Chapoutier 2009 Ermitage Les Greffieux 1 Case 6 75cl £520
  • The inky/black/purple-colored 2009 Ermitage Les Greffieux (473 cases) offers a stunning perfume of crushed rocks, lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, licorice, blackberries and blueberries. Impressively endowed as well as tannic and backward, with good acidity, this 2009 needs a decade of cellaring and should evolve effortlessly for 35-50+ years. As I have written many times, all of these wines are produced from rigidly cultivated, bio-dynamically managed vineyards. That has been the rule since Michel Chapoutier first took over this firm in the late 1980s. Now, with over 20 years of biodynamic viticulture under his belt, Chapoutier remains committed to this rather radical style of organic farming. He believes the effect is to reduce rot in damp, rainy vintages. Moreover, he has observed that after 10 to 15 years of biodynamic farming, the natural acids tend to be more vivid and the overall pH of the soils (as well as the wines) has dropped. Controversial, outspoken and brutally candid, Chapoutier, who suffers no fools, continues to admirably produce wines that are among the finest in the world and potentially the longest lived. Refusing to acidify, chaptalize, or touch the wines in any way, he clearly wants every wine to capture the very essence of its terroir and vintage personality. In this, he succeeds remarkably. No one has made more effort in resurrecting the once-forgotten backwater appellation of St.-Peray than Michel Chapoutier. Working in conjunction with the famed Michelin three-star restaurant family, the Pics, Chapoutier has produced a sensational 2010 Gamme Pic and Chapoutier St.-Peray, and the first single-vineyard St.-Peray, the 2010 Lieu-Dit Peyrolles St.-Peray, which is one of the greatest St.-Perays I have ever tasted. This appellation is all steep hillside vineyards planted in pure, decomposed granite soils, not dissimilar from Hermitage, but they are located on the other side of the Rhone, facing the city of Valence. The single-vineyard wines, or selections parcellaires, 2010 whites are absolutely amazing, with production levels ranging from 300 to 700 or 800 cases of each cuvee. These wines are for true connoisseurs, as they are expensive and meant for long, long evolutions, but they capture the essence of a vintage and terroir as well as any wines in the world. As for the selections parcellaires of 2010 reds, Chapoutier likes this vintage almost as much as 2009, but feels it is very different, emphasizing more acidity and minerality, whereas 2009 is a combination of pure power, concentration and great potential longevity. Michel Chapoutier considers the 2009s, which are all in bottle, to be among the greatest wines he has ever produced, equaling his finest wines of 2006, 2003, 1999, 1990 and 1989 (his debut year).

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone Cuilleron 2009 Cote Rotie Terres Sombres 1 Case 12 75cl £485
Rhone Jamet 2009 Cote Rotie 4 Case 6 75cl £970
96
Rhone Beaucastel 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape 4 Case 12 75cl £650
  • The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. It will be one of the rare Beaucastels that is drinkable upon release. Made from this estate's classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel). If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years.

    Score: 94 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (197), October 2011

    The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape (30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the balance other permitted varietals) exhibits an opaque purple color as well as sweet aromas of camphor, truffles, black cherries, black currants, licorice, pepper and forest floor. The wine is full-bodied, rich, intense and powerful. Moreover, there is a lot more of the 2009 than there is of the 2008 (after the strict selection, only 50% of the normal production was achieved). Because of the significant tannins, the 2009 requires 3-5 years of bottle age and should evolve for 25-30 years.

    Score: 92/95 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (191), October 2010

    This is not the bottled final blend but it's very close to it. 13 varieties including 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache and 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault. Held back but there is so much waiting to escape. You can feel all those components coming together (I had just tasted the varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault as separate - non-commerical - bottlings). The brightness of the Grenache, that dry, firm framework and length from the Mourvèdre and the completeness of the blend. Dry, fresh, long and impressive in its embryonic state. Power and finesse. Great length. 14%

    Score: 18 Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, November 2010

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone Ogier, Michel & Stephane 2009 Cote Rotie Belle Helene 1 Case 6 75cl £1,500
  • Opaque purple. Deeply pitched aromas of cherry pit, blackberry, licorice and woodsmoke. Broad, palate-coating dark fruit flavors show liqueur-like depth and power, with by slow-building minerality providing lift. Very rich but surprisingly lithe, with strong finishing thrust and harmonious tannins that add grip. This impressively powerful, well-balanced wine should age slowly.

    -- Josh Raynolds 94+ Josh Raynolds Mar 2012

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone Beaucastel 2009 CNDP Hommage Jacques Perrin 3 Bottle 75cl £225
  • (70% mourvedre and 10% each of grenache, counoise and syrah, all raised in foudre): Glass-staining purple. Hypnotic bouquet of black and blue fruits, potpourri and exotic spices. Broad, sappy and strikingly pure, with intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors that reach ever corner of the palate. Rich but lithe wine with a seamless texture and superb finishing clarity. This wine's marriage of power and vivacity is something else.

    -- Josh Raynolds 96 Josh Raynolds
     

Tasting Notes
96
Rhone Usseglio, Pierre 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape 1 Case 12 75cl £375
  • OBERT PARKER: 93

    The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition was cropped at 23 hectoliters per hectare (overall it was a small crop in 2010), and is a blend of mostly Grenache and 20% Syrah, with 80% aged in old wood foudres and 20% in small barrels. The alcohol level came in at 15.5%. Classic black raspberry, black cherry, garrigue, and lavender notes hit the palate with considerable authority. The Syrah component provides a slightly deeper purple hue to the color than is apparent in some other vintages. The extra level of concentration due to the tiny yields has resulted in a full-bodied, rich wine with super purity. It is already accessible, and should keep for 10-15 years. ||This branch of the Usseglio family left their home in Italy following the Great Depression in 1929 to make a new start producing wine in southern France. This estate has been on “fire” qualitatively since 1998. The cellars of brothers Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio, who own approximately 60 acres of vines, are located adjacent to the ruins of a pope’s palace on the northeastern side of the village. In top vintages, such as 2010, 2009 and 2007, three Chateauneuf du Pape cuvees are produced. These include a traditional cuvee, the old vine, tank- and foudre-aged Mon Aieul and the more modern-styled Reserve des Deux Freres. Lirac is on the acquisition list of many Chateauneuf du Pape proprietors for a number of reasons: (1) they live close by; (2)the terroir is not dissimilar from that of Chateauneuf du Pape; and (3) the land is relatively cheap. The 2010 Chateauneuf du Papes are superb. Wine Advocate.October, 2012

Tasting Notes
93
Rhone Chapoutier 2010 Ermitage de l'Oree 5 Bottle 150cl £300
  • There are 716 cases of the 2010 Ermitage de l’Oree. I have been following this cuvee since its debut vintage and this 100% Marsanne possesses more richness than most Burgundy Montrachets. Although aged in 100% new, 500-liter demi-muids, the wine reveals no evidence of oak. Honeysuckle, caramelized citrus, white peach, quince and white currant characteristics are viscous and full-bodied, yet the wine possesses striking precision and laser-like focus. This monumental effort is the most opulent and richest of all Chapoutier’s dry whites in 2010. 
     

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Barroche 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Pure 1 Case 6 75cl £1,110
  • Rating

    100

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2030

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    14th Sep 2015

    Source

    Special Report (Sep 2015), The Wine Advocate

    A wine that will rival the '05 in another handful of years, the utterly profound 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Pure offers the most purity and precision of any of the cuvees, yet backs it up with incredible concentration and depth. Giving up tons of blackberry, kirsch, black cherries, pepper, ground herbs and licorice, it's impeccably balanced and manages somehow to deliver an insane amount of fruit and texture in a lively, graceful and elegant style. Grenache at its finest, give bottles 2-3 years and count yourself lucky anytime you're able to drink this elixir. It should have 20-25 years of longevity.

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Clos du Mont Olivet 2010 CNDP Mont Olivet Cuvee Papet 5 Case 12 75cl £820
  • ROBERT PARKER

    Possibly the finest example of the Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee du Papet since Mont Olivet’s unreal 1990, the 2010 is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah, all aged in foudre. The grapes come from the estate’s oldest vines (50- to 105-years-old), which were planted in the famous sites of Mont Olivet and Bois Dauphin. A extraordinarily deep plum/purple color is followed by notes of balsam wood, raspberries, black currants, lavender, garrigue, kirsch, licorice and underbrush. This quintessential Chateauneuf du Pape smells like an open-air Provencal market. It is a full-bodied, full-throttle, multilayered wine with exceptional concentration, power and precision. While it can be approached now, it will not hit its prime for another 3-4 years, and should last for two decades given how well the 1990 continues to perform. ||One of the first properties to estate bottle their wines (over 80 years ago), Clos du Mont Olivet is owned by a branch of the Sabon family, a name that is well-known throughout the village of Chateauneuf du Pape.||Various American importers including Michael Skurnik, Syosset, NY; tel. (516) 677-9300; David Hinkle, North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, CA; tel. (510) 848-8910; Dionysus Imports, Manassas, VA; tel. (703) 392-7073; Ideal Wines and Spirits, Medford, MA; tel. (617) 395-3300; The Wine Company, St. Paul, MN; tel. (651) 487-1212; and Import Wines, Middleton, WI; tel. (608) 833-8622 Wine Advocate.October, 2012

Tasting Notes
99
Rhone Grand Veneur 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 1 Case 6 150cl £1,850
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    $75 - 90

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2047

    Reviewed by

     Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2012

    Source

    203, The Wine Advocate

    A monumental effort meriting a perfect score, the super-rich 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 4,000-bottle blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from 55- to 105-year-old vines and was aged for 18 months in small oak. The wine offers majestic blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with kirsch, licorice and subtle Provencal herbs in the background. It is akin to chewing meat in the mouth given its viscosity and thickness. This utterly amazing wine comes close to being over the top, but it pulls back just in time. A massive Chateauneuf du Pape (even for a 2010), it needs 5-6 years of cellaring and should age effortlessly for 25-30 years. Bravo!  

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Pegau 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee da Capo 2 Case 6 75cl £2,040
100
Rhone Mas de Boislauzon 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Quet 2 Bottle 150cl £390
  • 93 points

    75% grenache and 25% mourvedre): Glass-staining purple. Heady, spice-accented aromas of dark fruit liqueur, cola, licorice and candied violet. Broad-shouldered and deeply concentrated, offering sweet cassis and blueberry flavors that show a distinctly ripe character. Tannins build with air and carry through an impressively long, smoky finish that strongly echoes the blueberry and licorice notes. This masculine, brawny wine has shaped up very nicely since last year but it will never impress with finesse.

    -- Josh Raynolds

     

     

Tasting Notes
93
Rhone Mordoree 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reine des Bois 2 Case 6 75cl £400
  • Rating

    99+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2046

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Aug 2014

    Source

    214, The Wine Advocate

    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.   

Tasting Notes
99
Rhone Chapoutier 2010 Ermitage Vin de Paille 1 Case 3 37.5cl £335
  • Because of a change in French laws, the 2010 Ermitage Vin de Paille will be the last sweet wine made by Chapoutier. Made from 100% Marsanne, this perfect wine exhibits an incredible perfume of truffles, apricot jam and caramelized tangerines. This noble, surgically precise classic can be drunk now or cellared for over 100 years. It is a remarkable wine, and it’s a shame to see this cuvee discontinued. For the technical minded, this wine has 120 grams of residual sugar. 

    In November of this year, Michel Chapoutier finally made the cover of The Wine Spectator. The accompanying article said essentially the same things I had written about over twenty years ago. More importantly, I am thrilled that Chapoutier received this attention because it has long been deserved. History will record that Michel Chapoutier is a revolutionary. He is also a highly emotional man whose infectious love of primitive art, historic books, classical music and, of course, terroir and winemaking are seemingly impossible to harness. Michel Chapoutier was among the first in France to embrace the radical biodynamic agricultural teachings, for which he was initially criticized, but is now praised. He was also the first to print all his labels in Braille, something that cynics considered to be a gimmick, but ask the National Association for the Blind what they think. Coming from a famous family, but moving in a direction unlike any of its previous members, Michel Chapoutier is self-taught. What he has accomplished over the last two decades or more is one of the great wine stories of the modern era. With all his outgoing, boisterous, machine-gun-speed prose that can sometimes sound shockingly cocky, and at other times reminiscent of the famous Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, there is never a dull moment around Chapoutier., who makes comments such as “Filtering wine is like making love with a condom,” and “Acidifying wine is like putting a suit of armor on the vineyard’s terroir, vintage character and the cepage.” Don’t blame him if his brilliant intellect and shocking vocabulary put his visitors on the defensive. Michel Chapoutier has proven through his genius, the faith of his convictions and backbreaking attention to detail in his vineyards and in the winery that a once moribund negociant (yet with significant vineyard holdings) could become a beacon of inspiration and quality for the entire world. In short, every wine consumer in the world should admire his accomplishments. All of Chapoutier’s lower level 2010 whites and basic reds have long been sold out, so to keep the tasting somewhat limited during my visit, we focused on the more recently released 2010 white and red selections parcellaires and nearly all the 2011s. As for the 2010 selection parcellaire whites, they are spectacular. Le Pavillon, once called Rochefine and owned by Jaboulet-Verchere, consists of 10 acres of pure granite in the famed Les Bessards, which is considered by many to be the single greatest terroir of Hermitage. The Ermitage Le Pavillon, which is meant to age for 50+ years, is Michel Chapoutier’s legacy, and he is confident that history will support his belief in this extraordinary wine. Michel Chapoutier is not alone in believing the 2011s may resemble a more modern day version of 1991. That vintage was largely underrated by just about everybody (except yours truly) because all the accolades and hyperbole were largely bestowed on both 1989 and 1990 (deservedly), but in the Northern Rhone 1991 turned out to be a strikingly superb vintage for Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas and Condrieu. In the Southern Rhone, the vintage was largely a disaster. Following is an overview of what to expect with the inexpensive 2011 whites and reds. Most of these wines do not have the weight, power or tannic structure of the 2010s, but they are by no means diluted or wimpish wines. They tend to be charming, fruit-forward and seductive, and thus may be preferred by consumers looking for immediate gratification. Although the first few wines reviewed are Southern Rhones, they need to be covered because they are in bottle, and I did not review them in issue 203. Along with several other producers, Michel Chapoutier has helped increase the world’s attention to the long-forgotten, microscopic appellation of St.-Peray. Chapoutier produces a bevy of St.-Perays under his own name as well as in partnership with two three-star chefs, Sophie Pic, of the Restaurant Pic in Valence (as well as several culinary branches in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland), and Yannick Alleno, the brilliant chef at the Hotel Le Meurice’s in Paris. I did not review the two rose offerings from the Southern Rhone in issue 203, but both are excellent. Rose drinking season in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast regions is largely shut down until warm weather returns next spring. People in other, warmer climates of our country can still enjoy these wines. The red 2011 selections parcellaires are already fruit-forward and seductive. Readers should love them as they are much more evolved than the more structured, powerful, dense, tannic 2010s.

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone Bonneau Henri 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape 1 Case 6 75cl £840
Rhone Janasse 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 1 Case 6 75cl £715
100
Rhone Janasse 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 1 Case 12 75cl £1,450
100
Rhone Mas de Boislauzon 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Quet 2 Case 6 75cl £1,050
  • 93 points

    75% grenache and 25% mourvedre): Glass-staining purple. Heady, spice-accented aromas of dark fruit liqueur, cola, licorice and candied violet. Broad-shouldered and deeply concentrated, offering sweet cassis and blueberry flavors that show a distinctly ripe character. Tannins build with air and carry through an impressively long, smoky finish that strongly echoes the blueberry and licorice notes. This masculine, brawny wine has shaped up very nicely since last year but it will never impress with finesse.

    -- Josh Raynolds

     

     

Tasting Notes
93
Rhone Mas de Boislauzon 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Quet 2 Case 12 75cl £2,100
  • 93 points

    75% grenache and 25% mourvedre): Glass-staining purple. Heady, spice-accented aromas of dark fruit liqueur, cola, licorice and candied violet. Broad-shouldered and deeply concentrated, offering sweet cassis and blueberry flavors that show a distinctly ripe character. Tannins build with air and carry through an impressively long, smoky finish that strongly echoes the blueberry and licorice notes. This masculine, brawny wine has shaped up very nicely since last year but it will never impress with finesse.

    -- Josh Raynolds

     

     

Tasting Notes
93

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