Moving to the 2015s mostly tasted from bottle, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Louis Bernard is another well made, enjoyable effort. blackberries, peppery herbs, hints of charcuterie and spice give way to a medium to full-bodied, plump, delicious red to drink over the coming 3-5 years. The blend is 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, brought up all in concrete tanks.
Louis Bernard Reviews
The 2016 Gigondas looks to be a no-brainer, and it offers outstanding aromas and flavors of cassis, peppery spice, and camphor, with a ripe, polished, fruit forward style. This total crowd pleaser has lots of fruit, as well as sweet tannin, and should drink nicely right out of the gate.
A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and the balance Mourvèdre, all from the la Crau lieu-dit, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Crau des Papes offers a more nuanced, layered style than the classic cuvée. Strawberries, leafy green herb, orange blossom and garrigue notes all give way to a medium to full-bodied, elegant, silky red that has fine tannin and a great finish. It’s going to drink nicely through 2025.
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.
The 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages is an outstanding Southern Rhône that has loads of ripe strawberry and raspberry fruits, medium-bodied richness and a peppery, spicy style on the palate that makes it a joy to drink. It’s a terrific value to buy by the case and enjoy over the coming 2-3 years.
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.