4 vins notés par Josh Raynolds dans Vinous Media


BY JOSH RAYNOLDS | March 21, 2017
What especially impresses me about the 2015 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the consistently high quality of the wines, from entry-level bottlings up to the limited-production special cuvées coveted by collectors. There are striking wines to be had at every price point in 2015, including numerous basic bottlings that deliver exceptional value. Still, such is the market’s obsession with high-end bottlings that I suspect many entry-level wines will be mostly ignored for some time after release. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a number of straight Châteauneufs offered at prices well below those I’ve listed in this article. If that happens – and it has plenty of times before in other outstanding vintages – my advice is to jump on those wines.
Cha?teauneuf-du-Pape’s wines owe much of their character to the region’s complex soils
Nature Smiles

Cha?teauneuf-du-Pape’s wines owe much of their character to the region’s complex soils
Nature Smiles on the Growing Season and Harvest of 2015
As in Beaujolais and Burgundy to the north, the extended, warm 2015 growing season, which began with an early budbreak, presented growers with ideal conditions for achieving optimal ripeness. But it also delivered fruit with healthy acidity thanks to cool nights leading up to harvest, resulting in a large number of stellar wines that smoothly combine ripeness and energy. Indeed, a number of producers in Châteauneuf appear to have made their best wines in recent memory.
Another key factor in overall vintage quality was that weather conditions leading up to and through the harvest were so benign that producers could pick when they wanted, at sugar and acidity levels that suited their personal styles, rather than under the stress of an early, late or wet harvest. As a result, there are very few cases in which producers who favor an elegant style were forced to pick overripe fruit ,or those who go for ripeness were obliged to work with grapes picked earlier than they’d prefer. The bottom line: Châteauneuf fans will find their favorite wines with their house styles intact, albeit with the volume turned up and slightly higher alcohol than usual.
One minor caveat is that grape skins were typically thicker than usual in ’15, and thus some wines display elevated tannin levels. That said, few wines show forbidding tannic structures; most have the sweet, fleshy fruit to support their spines.
Recently filled concrete tanks at Domaine de la Vieille Julienne
Rich Wines that Also Show Vivacity

A Word on Châteauneuf Pricing
The gap between actual market pricing – meaning the prices readers will actually see on retailers’ shelves or email offerings – of entry-level Châteauneuf-du-Papes and small-production luxury bottlings has never been greater than it is now. That will continue to be the case when the 2015s hit the market. While I’m pleased that consumers will find some fantastic buys at the entry level, many, if not most, special bottlings are priced at levels that may well give pause to many wine lovers. That’s not to say that the best examples of Châteauneuf don’t stand up, quality-wise, to high-end wines from, say, Burgundy or Bordeaux, but I suspect that most wine lovers have psychological price ceilings when it comes to the southern Rhône Valley. For sure, Châteauneuf has traditionally been a wine category prized for its value, so it will be interesting to see just how many takers there are for wines that bear tariffs equal to those of many premier – and even grand cru – Burgundies.
Producers in this Article
? Bosquet des Papes
? Brotte
? Cellier des Princes
Cellier des Princes
(raised in stainless steel and concrete tanks) Ruby-red. Spice-accented raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of garrigue and white pepper. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering lively red and dark berry flavors that turn slightly warm on the back half. In an open-knit, fruity style, delivering firm closing punch, gentle tannins and good persistence.

Cellier des Princes
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Hautes des Coteaux
Brilliant ruby-red. Powerful blackberry and cherry scents, along with licorice and floral nuances
that build in the glass. Smooth and expansive on the palate, offering juicy dark fruit and spicecake flavors enlivened by a jolt of juicy acidity. Plays richness off vivacity with a smooth hand and finishes long and sweet, with sneaky tannins lending grip.
— Josh Raynolds
Cellier des Princes
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Le Mourre
Lurid ruby-red. Aromas of ripe red berries, potpourri and smoky minerals, along with subtle white pepper and allspice flourishes. Fleshy and appealingly sweet, offering intense red fruit flavors that become firmer with aeration. Concentrated but also lively; fine-grained tannins give shape and grip to the spice-accented finish.
Cellier des Princes
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine des Escondudes
Bright ruby. Mineral- and spice-tinged red fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied licorice and white pepper. Lively and sharply delineated, offering intense raspberry and spicecake flavors that firm up on the back half. Shows very good clarity and thrust on the chewy finish, which is firmed by dusty tannins that fade slowly into the sweet, juicy fruit.
— Josh Raynolds
? Chapelle St. Théodoric
? Château Beauchêne
? Château de Beaucastel
? Château de la Gardine
? Château de la Grande Gardiole
? Château de Manissy
? Château des Fines Roches
? Château de Vaudieu
? Château Fargueirol
? Château Fortia
? Château Jas de Bressy
? Château La Nerthe
? Château Mont-Redon
? Château Saint-Roch-Brunel