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2016 Chateauneuf du Pape 99/100 point wine taste-off (and a couple of pirate Rhone wines)

Tasted July 7, 2021 by csimm1161 with 688 views

Introduction

An awesome flight of 30+ wines: The amazing 2016 vintage of Chateauneuf du Pape that pro-scored 99/100 points.

Flight 1 (32 notes)

Red
2016 Domaine la Barroche Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Pure France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
On the modern side of modern, the stewed and plummy nose of the Barroche Pure signals what you’re in for, flashing ultra-ripe black berry fruit, steeped plums, black cherry syrup, cassis, and dark spice notes. The rich and sticky flavors ooze from the glass in sappy, liqueur-driven waves that completely slather the palate. It’s a mouthful that comes off a touch overripe and heavy – though there is something inherently satisfying here in a Freudian Id kind of way. Hedonistic is an understatement. If you wanna chew on your wine as you oil wrestle the Tall Boy skydancer tube man in front of your local Kia dealership, bring along the Pure and have yourself a blast.

You could give this a few years to see if it chills out a little and stops being such a saucy panther, but I wouldn’t wait too long or you’ll end up with a roasted prune milkshake. I sampled this again 24 hours later and it was a complete raisin catastrophe. I’m not sayin’ this isn’t without its tempting qualities, but make sure you’re in a John Stamos kind of mood and ready for some serious thick oil fracking on the palate. 94+ points depending on your style preference. Score a bit higher if you drink your wine in a daiquiri glass with a sugar rim.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
98 points
One of the CdPs of the night, the Beaucastel Jacques displays instant purity and depth from the first sip. Beautiful and stately and also dark and brooding, there is an elegance-meets-athleticism here that is undeniably captivating. For me, THIS is CdP in a glass. Rich and harmonious, with charming terroir-accented garrigue, leather, and stem notes to compliment and counterbalance the dark berry flavors undulating from the glass. This is so concentrated; never heavy. Unsmoked tobacco notes appear toward the tail, creating lift and adding to the deeply pitched core. It is all right there and it is all right now.

As it warmed up in the glass, the back end flattened a bit. Nothing major, but best advice is to keep service on the cooler side when drinking young. And speaking of drinking young, this awesome sprinter became fairly astringent after being open 24 hours. The mid-palate fell apart and became bitter, making for a seemingly over-aged delivery on the second day. This seems designed as less a marathoner and more for the immediate term (I know there are loyalists that call earlier consumption of prized CdPs crazy since some folks think these wines can and should age for 40 years. My 2 cents there? I’ll simply say, “Good luck with that”). Sure, there’s some baby fat to shed, but I wouldn’t be holding many of these modern CdPs past the 8-10 year mark – for those who value freshness at least.

But hey, on the first day, this was absolutely rocking. 98 points on day one. One of the lessons to be taken away from this tasting generally is that these 99/100-pointers are stylized and flashy. I’m not mad at them for it (quite the contrary) but know what you’re getting into. If you’re more on the dirt-worshiper side of Chateauneuf profile-wise, these 2016 big boys may be too much of a good thing all at once. Luckily this Beaucastel carries some identifiable clues that carry the taster to Rhone, rather than to Australia in the dead of summer, for example.
7 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2016 Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Folie France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
95 points
Ripe and plummy, with a slight raisin quality, the Bosquet des Papes La Folie is all about RIGHT NOW. If Realm made a CdP and barreled it down in the basement of an Atlantic City casino, it would be La Folie. With all sorts of spices and flavors circling around the ripest core of dark berry fruit and sappy cassis notes, it’s a mouthful indeed. There is too a cola sweetness that I couldn’t decide if I liked or disliked. It was a bit distracting from the speed and the frame, but it was admittedly pretty darn yummy.

I was undeniably drawn to the immediate gratification and the smoothness of the saturated weight and rolling velvet carpet delivery, but found it somewhat port-like in the end. One remedy is to shove a fat finger full of Epoisses down your throat to accompany this devilish heathen of a wine and see if you stroke-out from insatiable delight. Maybe ride a skateboard down Lombard Street in San Francisco while you’re doing it, just to add to the excitement. And it’s ok that you’re thinking, “Does he want me to actually try that?” Yes, my friend, I do. And drop it on Instagram with some wacky emojis to show your pals how mature you’ve become since high school.

94-95 points just because it’s the kind of wine you wanna tell your friends about… but maybe not your mom.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Powerful and a bit edgy, the Cailloux Centenaire shows some cocktail elements that shoot the dark red and black berry fruit into the boozehound arena for now. Surprisingly watery on the finish, diluting the tail and robbing the back end of some needed fruit. Spice elements swoop in to attempt to add some complexity to the profile, but the alcohol comes back and steals the show. Fairly disjoined at the moment. Let this sit for a while in-bottle, as it was one of the more abrasive in the lineup.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 M. Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
93 points
A funky cold medina, the Barb Rac was one of the more farmy and earthy of the bunch, with plum and red/black raspberry notes playing tug-o-war with the dirty overalls American Gothic (or rather, French Gothic) posture this wine somewhat confusingly showcases in modern funk dichotomy. There is a globular richness that hints at ostentatiousness, but then Farmer John (or rather, Jean le Fermier) comes tractoring his way through the barn and rolls over the palate with his dirt-laced treads. It’s kinda like when your dad tries to be cool, but then he’s still just your dad and you and your friends are left more confused and wondering why he just bought a convertible yellow Miata and is trying to show it off like a Bugatti.

I can’t say I didn’t like the Barb Rac, I just was a little perplexed as to what it was trying to tell me. Hopefully some time in-bottle with help it to get past its mid-life crisis and find a true identity that doesn’t embarrass the whole family at the Thanksgiving table.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Chimère Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
95 points
Black raspberry, fresh orange peel, cardamom, plum, and cassis present in a subtly candied and liqueur-like fashion, but stay true to the region from where it is attempting to honor. Does it taste like SQN? No. I mean, I don’t think so. If you mean is it modern and ripe and ripe and ripe and boozy and ripe, then I’d have to say there were other CdPs made by Frenchmen that tasted way more Californicated than the Chimere. There was a decent hit of alcohol here, which was perhaps my biggest ding, but otherwise it showed some meatiness and earthy wild fruitiness that gave it personality. Seamlessness was moving right along on the front and mid until the vodka-monger note wafted up and started fanning the tail. 94-95+ points, with upside after a few years in bottle to settle down and hopefully integrate more.

This was sampled again after 24 hours and had become a bit prune-ridden. It was holding up fairly well, but the ripe plum/prune note was prevalent enough that it took away from the rest of the delivery. Finished slightly bitter as well after the on-going exposure to air.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
95 points
Party-rockin’ and sexy ta-boot, the Clos des Papes struts black licorice, blackberry, spice, and tears of shame like it’s not coming back home til the next day. Ripe and ready, the black licorice becomes even more prevalent in the profile and almost makes you question if there’s a residual sugar thing going on here. It’s not, but boy was this a banana split kind of experience. Shockingly, this was one of the CdPs that held up the best after 24 hours. I figured this would be passed out on the floor the next day, but it was singing and perhaps even more focused than it was on day one.
8 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
Blackberry, black cherry, black licorice, black everything, this brooding cave-dwelling bat boy is ripe and gothic in posture. There is decent flex here as well, with its Emo personality still finding time to hit the gym and beef-up the push of flavor. Think Glenn Danzig. Not Perry Farrell. 92-94 points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
98 points
One of the top wines in the lineup, the Ex Machina inched past the Sanctus by a hair due to the Machina’s amazing concentration and complexity, even with its pile of ripe fruit off-loading on to the palate. This is a beast that wants to polar bear hug you and never let go. The mid-palate drop is extraordinary and possibly on par with the top one or two of the 30+ CdPs poured. A darker, blacker profile here than the Sanctus.

24 hours later, it was pretty much the same; there was a bit of steam lost but not so much that you couldn’t appreciate the captivating residual power it was still kicking out.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2016 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
98 points
If the Ex Machina ran through a pile of red raspberry bushes, it would be the Sanctus. Spicy and earthy red and black raspberry, red and black cherry, cassis, and red and black licorice, this impresses with its zip and speed to compliment the richness of the fruit. Finishes slightly superficial and fuzzy, but then downshifts back into the fruit and spice zone, elongating the back end and making for a greater sense of fruit expansion throughout the entire delivery.

24 hours later, this was on fire, and probably one of the best CdPs to hold up on the day-two mark. A ton of freshness and verve accompanied by meaty sanguine and spice notes. A CdP with an exclamation point after every sip!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
Plum, black raspberry, and some alcohol notes make for a luscious front end and a more unrefined back end. With air, the execution is less superficial and shows additional depth and flavor. This presents as seemingly low acid and replaced by booze-liqueur elements (and less so by acidic tension). This fell in the middle of the pack. A good wine that is still a little juvenile and angular. The Cristia was more middle-weight compared to some of its beefier and more concentrated brethren. Hold this a few years so it can shed some of its bartender sweat.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Gallimardes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
Ripe and extremely powerful, with alcohol dominating the profile from stem to stern. What plagued this wine more than the others was its cloying and sticky sweetness. There is just SO MUCH fruit here, and so much RIPE fruit, that it was bordering on coming off stewed and port-like. I felt like I was sucking on a candy cane made of blackberry cobbler. This was the most confection-ridden wine. It actually reminded me of an experience I had with a 2017 Andremily EABA, where the saccharine profile was so severe that it gave me pause as to whether or not proper assimilation of its components would ever truly come to fruition. And just cuz I’m name dropping here, it’s as if Mark Aubert made a CdP and then took it to Baskin-Robbins to make a Plum Royale Sundae out of it. This wine is ultimately somewhat of a question mark for me. Give it time, because really, what else are you going to do?!
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2016 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
95 points
Rich and dark cassis and concentrated black berry fruit play off of the earthy plum and spice elements. There is a slight bitterness on the finish currently. This also threw out a decent amount of sediment, which likely attributed to the sense of tartness on the tail, as it was pretty smooth sailing up until the clip on the back end. Some leather and spicy Mourvèdre notes popped up as well, adding interest. I sense there is some distance this wine can achieve with marked improvement if given a handful of years to integrate further. There is captivating tension and nerve with the Grand Veneur that some of the other more “modern” CdPs did not display.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
96 points
Following the theme of modernity, the Chaupin was one of the most California wines in the lineup. Powerful blackberry and dark plum work well with a blast of black licorice to push and flex the Chaupin into a brawny but appealing showing. The finish goes on and on (but not as long as its VV big brother). Some traditionalists will say this lacks some finesse, and they might not be completely wrong. However, this is a well-made wine that competed well in the lineup; especially QPR-wise, the price of admission here is especially compelling by comparison.
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
99 points
An outstanding effort and one of my favorite wines of the night. A complete and put-together 2016 CdP, outshining the Chaupin and even the XXL with its unmatched combination of balanced concentration and powerful but measured expansion of flavor, this VV showcased blackberry, licorice, black raspberry syrup, Christmas spice, and chewy bitter chocolate flavors on a silver platter of palate exquisiteness. Modern and ripe in style but with excellent tension and speed, the finish ramps up in a powerful cascade of black fruit and erotic spice notes. A mouthful of a wine that swiftly skirts heaviness and syrupiness.

The XXL came off even more “huge” by comparison, but slightly less judicious in flex than the more focused VV. This is splitting gnat hairs, but side-by-side the VV delivered a touch more sophistication and direction due to its ability to harness its authority. The VV drinks beautifully now with some air, but seems to have the fortitude to go some distance without collapsing on its ripe fruit. Again, the tensity keeps it all flowing down the proper lane without ever gutter-balling into overly viscous territory or slogging through its execution.
7 people found this helpful Comments (7)
Red
2016 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée XXL France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
98 points
A HUGE mouthfeel here, powerfully ripe and not ashamed to throw it in your face with a fistful of dark and heady fruit. This is a Napa Cab on steroids type of CdP that somehow manages to majestically rumble its way into a super smooth and silky glide that it’s hard to imagine how a singular wine is able to achieve such a feat. It’s a Mack Truck with the floaty suspension of a Mercedes S580. On the tail arrives some hints of alcohol (no surprise given the immense power jetting out of this thing), but it is tempered with chewy fruit rollup flavors that coat the gums and thwart any astringency that might come from such a mega-flex of grape jelly booze.

The sheer power of the XXL keeps it from being as sultry and sophisticated as its VV brother, but the XXL hits on multiple levels of captivation. It was literally a, “Ah damn; that’s gangsta right there” kind of experience. The XXL grabs you and shakes you, and then wraps its hairy man arms around you and hugs you with all the love it can muster.

On a revisit of this wine 24 hours later, it has really mellowed-out and presented as a leisurely walk in the park kind of wine. It maintained its richness and density, but the raw power was much less full frontal and commanding. One taster even commented that it had become slightly boring after 24 hours. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was definitely a steady eddy after a day of air with the Gold’s Gym pump deflating to some degree.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Funky and a bit barnyard, this was one of the least fruit-driven of the 2016 CdPs. Leather and garrigue dominate the front end, with raspberry and black cherry coulis rounding out the profile. Finishes a touch thin and funky. Not flawed but just not too exciting, especially surrounded by all of the other attention monger CdPs in the lineup.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
flawed
Corked. Wet newspaper and bitter blackberry seeds.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
95 points
More of a red-fruited animal, the Capo showed a tartness on the finish that both helped and hindered the expansion of the mid-weight ripe fruit on the front end. Herbal and earthy notes offer frame and friction for the core, but are also fairly prominent throughout the delivery, throwing off a bit of an edginess in its current form. The back end pushes a strong flavor of ratatouille that washes out the purer sense of red raspberry fruit and cassis.

24 hours later, this held up fairly well, though the fruit had become more bulbous and slightly gummy on the tail. Give this wine some time to integrate. Try again in 2026+
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine Saint Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape Collection Charles Giraud France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
This is a total gym rat of a CdP, with power and chewy toughness forming the frame for ripe black and dark red raspberry fruit flavors punching their way through the palate (rather than along the palate), so much so that you physically have to chew yourself a sip of this wine. It is a bit raw and rugged in its current state, but the flavors do start to yield and expand with some vigorous swirling. This is a meat-lovers wine, but it lacks finesse and polish right now. Put Baby in a corner and don’t talk to her for the next five or six summers. 93-94+ point potential.

I personally find the 2017 Charles Giraud to have more flesh and sultry satisfaction in its delivery when compared to the 2016. For me, the 2016 is all about supremacy and domination. The 2017 is more lavish and feather boa. The 2016 is Kim Jong Un. The 2017 is Psy.
2 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
2016 Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret des Sabon France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
Amongst a number of the CdP beasts in the lineup, the Sabon was a beauty, with a well-orchestrated cadence of delivery and a sauntering flavor expansion, it offers flavors of red and black berry fruit unfolding with notable self-control and poise. Finishes slightly diluted. Short term cellaring is recommended here, but this will never be as strapping and concentrated as some of the others.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Deux Frères France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
100 points
Fresh pine needles on the nose makes for a curious first sip, but the taste is all about succulent blackberry and saturated red raspberry fruit washing over the palate with such juiciness and undeniable lusciousness that the Deux Freres makes a compelling argument for wine of the night. Modern and ripe on the front end, but gradually pushing more terror-driven notes of garrigue and earthy herb-dusted plum as it settles into the mid-palate and cruises on through the finish, the Deux Freres is an absolute phenom. Complexity and succulence are unparalleled here, with the intriguing resin aroma reappearing on the tail for additional attention.

The Usseglio house did some dominating during this tasting, with the Deux Freres, Mon Aieul, and Not For You all setting top-flight standards for the region and the vintage. Personally, I found the Deux Freres to be the most complete and sharply demonstrative wine in the lineup, with the Not For You and Mon Aieul tailing closely behind.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
97 points
Sexy and powerful cassis and licorice notes lead the charge, with deeply pitched red and black berry notes rushing up to fill in the gaps. With air, the flow of flavor is even more expansive and explosive. Finishes with luscious influence and waves of surging and cascading succulence. A super suave and erotic style. A step up from the 2015 Mon Aieul.

The Usseglio house did some dominating during this tasting, with the Deux Freres, Mon Aieul, and Not For You all setting top-flight standards for the region and the vintage. Personally, I found the Deux Freres to be the most complete and sharply demonstrative wine in the lineup, with the Not For You and Mon Aieul tailing closely behind.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Not For You France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
97 points
Upon first sip, notes of bark and earth pinch the palate before the fruit begins to infiltrate the gates. More stemmy than sultry on the front end of the attack, the Not For You tells you right away that there is a long-haul expectation here that it is ready to embark on in order to deliver even higher expectations down the road. With air, depth, richness, and keen concentration thunder on to the palate, with notable energy and push that keeps the ripe core in shrewd cadence. Finishes opulent, but with the stem and bark notes repeating, along with a bitter chocolate-covered cherry flavor that puts a bow on the whole shebang.

The Not For You is the most poised for longevity among the three Usseglios. After 24 hours of open air, a revisit of this wine yielded a more academic animal, with the fruit taking a back seat to the scaffolding. This is one of the few wines in the lineup that will truly last a decade+ and likely not show signs of faltering.

The Usseglio house did some dominating during this tasting, with the Deux Freres, Mon Aieul, and Not For You all setting top-flight standards for the region and the vintage. Personally, I found the Deux Freres to be the most complete and sharply demonstrative wine in the lineup, with the Not For You and Mon Aieul tailing closely behind.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
99 points
You want an extreme sport style of richness? Amiral G. is the answer to all you’ve been looking for. This is probably the richest wine of the night. However, it is so tasty and charming that its wicked extraction doesn’t give you pause at all. Blackberry and dark, dark cassis dominate. Did I mention rich? Now, now folks, don’t be afraid. It’s the kind of richness you want here, as the Amiral G. knows exactly where it comes from and never compromises its sense of place for sheer modernity and ripeness. The framework is constructed for a 9.0 earthquake (which is just about where this is on the viscosity scale), so it can handle the gobs of gushing fruit. It’s the kind of wine you want to go paragliding with in Lauterbrunnen.

96-99 points depending on your richness tolerance meter.
6 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2016 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
100 points
Fresh black and red licorice and deep cassis notes are highlighted by extraordinarily multifaceted and enchanting flavors of creosote, garrigue, spicy pine tar, celery, and railroad tie. I found this to be one of the most interesting wines of the night, both academically and flavorfully. The complexity and intricacy of the flavor-layering is next-level. Not only is this a ridiculously complete wine, it is also a, “Wait, what is this…What is going on here?!” kind of breathtaking and even unpredictable experience that bridges fun anticipation with a sheer sense of magnificence. Everything is in the right place, and the “everything” part has so much going on that there is a new flavor with every sip. Fascinating! 98-100 points.
5 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
91 points
A 2003 Clos des Papes was thrown into the mix, along with a couple of Mordoree Plum Peintre (2003 and 2005). The Clos was the freshest of the older wines, with an earthy profile that spit out wild raspberry fruit and more advanced flavors of oolong tea, leather, and bark. Bitter cherry and plum skin add interest.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Plume du Peintre France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
flawed
Destroyed and dead. A pile of leaves slathered in sherry and liquified golden raisins. Not sure what happened here. An unfortunate fail.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Plume du Peintre France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
91 points
Vastly improved from the 2003 (467), this 2005 (580) showed a decent resume of red fruit and earth in a friendly package. Still, this carried flavors familiar to the 2003, including sherry, caramel, leather, and citrus rind. This was not totally obliterated the way the 2003 was, but it seemed much more advanced than it should be for its age. The 2005 reminds me of an ok pepperoni pizza wine that some guy named Mario might pull from the back of a warm shelf next to the cash register and slide you over a couple of heavy crystal highball glasses to drink it out of.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
88 points
This was still holding up decently given its age, but it is most definitely spiraling. Burnt orange peel, tobacco, leather, band-aid, sherry, and autumn leaf notes make for a predictable aged wine kind of experience. At this age, it sometimes becomes hard to tell what varietal you’re even talking about. I’ve have red Burgs and BDXs that exhibit similar profiles after the 20+ year mark. For you savants who can taste the exact DNA of every wine that touches your lips, hats off to ya. For me, and aside from the academics of it all, this was already reminding me of the day Jesus turned wine into whiskey at the Marriage at Cana. (Wait, I have that right…right?).
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 The Third Twin NUESTRA SENORA DEL TERCER GEMELO The Third Twin Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
98 points
A couple of domestic pirates made their ways into the mix, specifically two Krankl creations (outside of the Chimere) – the Third Twin Nuestra Senora and the SQN Dirt Vernacular Grenache.

As I’ve stated before, the Nuestra Senora is a fantastic wine that takes some babying to get fully into its captivating beauty. At first pull, it’s a phat gushing of tempestuous and overwhelming fruit. Left alone in the glass for a while, it starts to become more finessed. Considering many of the 2016 CdPs were more than flirting with various aspects of modernity, the SQN/Third Twin wines were not out of place here. Hold the Nuestra for a number of years to best integrate and tame its wild child. It’s a thrilling wine to be sure.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2016 Sine Qua Non Grenache Dirt Vernacular USA, California, Central Coast
97 points
A couple of domestic pirates made their ways into the mix, specifically two Krankl creations (outside of the Chimere) – the Third Twin Nuestra Senora and the SQN Dirt Vernacular Grenache.

Saturated, viscous, and almost syrupy on the initial sip, the Dirt Vernacular takes a decent dose of air to really get the momentum in gear and the flavors off and running. But once they do, hold on to your tube socks, cuz it doesn’t take long to start pulsating. Deep, dark black cherry, black and red raspberry, cassis, and dark spice notes gush from the front of the attack, slathering the mid-palate and finishing decadently long and lavish.

With a long decant, the Dirt Vernacular possesses the capacities for early consumption. Ideally, I would lay this down for 5+ years just to best temper its current upfront scorching sultriness. 95-97+ points.
9 people found this helpful Comments (14)
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