Intensely ripe black-cherry flavor is shaded by hints of barnyard, bramble and garrigue in this well-priced wine. It’s lush and open knit in fruit character but complex too. The long finish ends on fine-grained, velvety tannins. Enjoy now–2022.
Louis Bernard Reviews
Intensely ripe black-cherry and mulberry aromas are muted by shades of forest floor, porcini and dried violet in this full-bodied wine. The black fruit flavors are lavishly fruity but balanced by complexities of earth, leather and charcuterie. This inviting but stately wine should drink well through 2025.
Reassuringly back up to par, Louis Bernard's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape offers hints of anise and cherry on the nose. A full-bodied blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, it's creamy and lush on the palate, easing into notes of mocha and black tea on the finish.
The full-bodied 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Domaine la Crau des Papes is a fine effort from this widely distributed négociant. Garrigue, tea and floral notes accent raspberry and cherry fruit in this silky-textured wine, which remains lively and fresh through the long finish.
Slightly more expensive, the 2016 Vacqueyras Domaine de Montbayon is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre that was brought up all in tank. It offers plenty of earthy black and blue fruits, peppery herbs and hints of violets in a full-bodied, impressively concentrated, balanced style. It’s just another outstanding looking barrel sample from this negociant.
Year's Best Rhone
Red cherry flavors ring out with bell-tone clarity in this wine, herbal notes edging the ripe, juicy flavors. It feels cool and fresh, with a little vanilla and spice to smooth over the stony flavors beneath the fruit.
This isn’t the biggest or ripest Côtes du Rhône, but it balances hints of greenness with fresh cherry fruit. The floral notes on the nose are attractive, while the wine finishes firm and crisp. Boisset Family Estates. —J.C.
This well known négociant has turned in a sold effort. The nose is slightly herbal, but with attractive black-pepper shadings, while the fruit flavors favor dark skinned plum. Drink this medium-bodied, supple wine over the next few years. —J.C.
Lightly nutty, with a toasted almond note followed by yellow apple and shortbread flavors. A dried pineapple hint shows on the finish.