2015 Chateauneuf du Papes

Lou's

Tasted March 28, 2018 by Loren Sonkin with 379 views

Introduction

Last night our tasting group met to drink some 2015 CdP's. It was a great chance to determine for ourselves what we thought of the vintage and we had a very respectable assortment of top wines. The wines were consumed blind for a couple of hours and then unveiled while we continued to sample them. Breads and cheeses were available as well.

Flight 1 - A starter white: (1 note)

White
2015 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Very nice showing. Silvery/green/gold in color. The nose is very clean with a chalky note alongside some pears. On the palate, this has a lovely oily texture. More chalky and minerals than fruit but a bit of pear. Slight heat and slightly dry on the finish but otherwise long and nice. Seems to be drinking quite well right now. Going back to it after some air, it had improved.

Flight 2 - 2015 CdP (9 notes)

Red
2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
Purple in color with some ruby swirls. Lovely nose with spices and black cherries. Open initially, it shuts down and then slowly opens in the glass. Clean. On the palate, this is very tannic right now. Juicy black cherry fruit. Deep but tight. Delicious wine that is tasty today but really needs a few years to develop. Certainly a point or three of upside potential.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
93 points
I liked this one a bit more than the group. It is very feminine and alluring for my tastes. Light ruby in color. The nose has a cherry juice note along with garrrique and slight earthiness. On the palate, great silky texture. Cherries and warm earth layers. This is a "Burgundian" style CdP and gets a bit over shadowed by the larger wines. Nice finish.
Red
2015 Vignobles Mayard Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Alex France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
91 points
Not a wine that i can recall trying before. Ruby/purple in color. The nose is very tight and never seemed to fully open. Perhaps more purple fruits than red with some spice. Much more open on the palate. Flat out delicious wine. Not a ton of complexity but juicy black raspberries and black cherries. Smooth and easy to drink. Nice finish.
Red
2015 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
The groups last place wine which is somewhat surprising though I don't disagree. Light/medium ruby in color. The nose is light with dusty cherries. On the palate, this has a cough syrup quality. Trent called it medicinal which works as well. Black cherries and some anise. Firm tannins. Solid finish. Perhaps this sorts out with some cellar time but nothing (other than history) leads me to believe that. Not what I expected though a wine I am happy to drink.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Medium ruby in color, clear and bright. The nose is nice with black cherries, a bit of mint and spice. On the palate, I liked this but there were some unusual notes. Sour cherries. Some CdP's get described as Burgundian, this is more Oregonian. Light but present tannins. Slightly bitter on the finish. Some tight complexity, it does open in the glass. Certainly some upside potential to this wine but quite enjoyable today.
Red
2015 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
93 points
Purple/ruby in color. The nose has cherries, dark cherries, sandalwood and garrique. On the palate, spiced cherries with slight black cherry notes. A bit of warm earthiness to it. Light tannins. Long finish. Donjon is usually a wine that takes some time to open (years) but this is drinking quite well now. Still, it probably has some upside potential and is not yet at peak.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
93 points
Often this stands out in a tasting due to the Mourvedre but this did not. After the unveiling, I went back and it still seems dominated by the Grenache. Purple in color. The nose has cherries and some anise along with spices. On the palate, black cherries, and spice. It has a chewy texture which is nice. Turns a bit sour on the finish which is not bad, just unexpected. Overall, an outstanding wine now but one would assume it should improve over the next few years.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
96 points
To me the clear star of the night and the groups WOTN as well. Purple in color. The nose has black cherries, slightly dusty with garrique. On the palate, black cherries and spice. Great lush texture with silky tannins. Delicious but also complex and tightly layered depth. Long finish. This has some upside for sure, but is great today.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2015 Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
Purple in color. The nose has black cherries. On the palate, this has jammy black cherry fruit. Rough tannins. It seems a bit disjointed at first but smoothes out with some air. It is certainly enjoyable but lacking the complexity of many of the wine on the table.

Flight 3 - An extra bonus bottle (1 note)

Red
1998 Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve le Clos du Caillou France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
93 points
Jeff opened this after the tasting. Ruby/purple in color. This smells like it should. Some cherries, macerated cherries and barnyard. It hit me that this is what was missing from all the 2015's. Love that earthiness. Does it develop? I doubt it. Anyway, on the palate, this is very nice with layers of black cherry fruit and damp earth. Tannins are resolved. It seems to be at peak or slightly past but drinking quite well. 20 years from vintage with plenty of life left it all one can ask. Thanks Jeff for the treat.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)

Closing

Personally, I graded the vintage as an A- (maybe a 91ish). Some wines may have been starting to shut down but others were quite open. It is hard to hit them all. The issue for many of us is that these wines are no longer the great values they used to be. Given the prices charged, we have a right to expect greatness. Some of these are well over $100 a bottle. Gone are the days I would buy 4 or 5 (I never buy cases). Now, maybe 2 bottles is enough. That said, it was an excellent tasting. Great wines and lots of great conversations. Next month, 2015 Burgs - talk about value. ;-)

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