The 2018 Crozes-Hermitage, which was brought up all in vat, offers a ripe, fruit-driven bouquet of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with plenty of candied violets, incense, and peppery spice aromas and flavors. It's polished, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and rock-solid. Enjoy bottles over the coming 7-8 years.
Louis Bernard Reviews
Cherry and plum flavors are youthful and fresh in this wine, accented by crushed mineral and a tinge of peppery spice. It's silken-smooth in texture yet held upright by taut, persistent tannins. Attractive already the wine should improve through 2028 and hold further.
Whiffs of dried sage and anise lend complexity to fleshy, cherry and blackberry in this blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. It's glossy and sleek but edged by hints of crushed granite and licorice that linger through a long finish. Plush texture and open-knit fruit make it appealing already but rigid tannins should gain finesse through 2026 and likely beyond.
Even better than the 2017, the 2018 Vacqueyras is a similar, forward, fleshy, fruit bomb beauty that has a deep purple color and loads of blue fruits, mint, garrigue, and floral aromas and flavors. It too is ideal for drinking over the coming 4-6 years.
Not yet bottled, the 2018 Gigondas is a big mouthful of a Gigondas that offers fruit bomb levels of cassis, ground pepper, and spice. Soft, forward, and sexy, it’s not going to make old bones, but it certainly packs the fruit. Drink bottles over the coming 4-6 years.
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.
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.
Lightly nutty, with a toasted almond note followed by yellow apple and shortbread flavors. A dried pineapple hint shows on the finish.