2016 Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Magis, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

A very pretty white wine from the Rhone.  This is a big, round wine that is unique and outstanding.  Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Roussanne.  Golden in color.  The nose is gorgeous with peaches, minerals, slight lime, toast and a slight waxy/floral quality (not unlike my late Aunt's apartment).  On the palate, this is round with a slightly oily texture.  very nice acidity.  Long finish.  In a very good way, this is somewhat like a white Burgundy with a peach candle melted in.  Delicious.  It would go great with food especially vegetarian grain dishes (couscous, quinoa, etc.). 

2012 E. Guigal Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Purchased off a store shelf, pop and pour.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, charcoal, a slight floral note and with air some roasted meats.  On the palate, this is leaner bodied.  Slight tannins.  Black raspberry fruit with some earthiness.  The wine is drinking well already and doesn't seem like it will get much better.  It is very good right now though.  It will work great with stews and casseroles.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2014 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

This was a pleasant surprise.  Served from Magnum and along side some bigger California wines, this provided a nice contrast and was quite tasty.  2014 was not a particularly good vintage in the southern Rhone, but of course, good producers usually find a way to make good wines.  Ruby in color.  The nose is nice with cherries, garrique/spice, and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Nice cherry fruit with some dark cherry and a bit of earthiness.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This worked quite well with some home made pizzas and in general is food friendly.  It is dr

2017 Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

These are great values in Northern Rhone Syrah.  Fass Selections is their importer and distributor in the US.  For those looking for some different wines, sign up for their daily e-mail blasts of wines for direct sale.  While this will improve a bit with cellaring, it drinks well now, especially with a bit of air.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, roasted herbs and slight black pepper.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the fruit is a bit lighter but still in the black raspberry vein.  An underlying minerality with some char.  Good acidity.  Nice finish. 

2004 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

One of the longer living CdP's.  However, 2004 is an ok, not great vintage at this time.  The result?  At age 15 this is at peak.  It should be here for at least five and likely ten more years.  Medium ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, slight floral notes, garrique and slight earthy funk.  On the palate, this has nice depth.  Layers of cherry liqueur unwind in the glass over a funky earthiness.  Light dry tannins especially on the finish.  This works well with stews and roast.  Everything you want in a traditional CdP.  

2007 Domaine de la Solitude (Lançon Père et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Cornelia Constanza, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
94
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$83.00USD

This is drinking well.  Probably at or close to peak at this point.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, slight floral notes and garrique.  On the palate, there is some oak showing though this is brought up more in tank than barrel.  Perhaps just from concentrated old vine/stems?  Cherries, black raspberries and slight funk.  Starting to show some layering though that will doubtless expand over the next decade.  I don't think it get's better but will continue to morph, so it depends on how you like them.  Nice finish.  This is very food friendly and would

2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Wow.  A spectacular wine.  This is of course very young but it is so delicious and enjoyable.  It won't hit peak for a decade at least.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is peppery with black cherries, spice, soy, garrique and floral notes.  On the palate, this is viscous with a wonderful texture.  Lots of black cherry and black raspberry fruit.  A bit of liqueur.  Long finish.  This is made from 100% Grenache.  Right now it's a difficult food match but give it time in the cellar and it should be great with meats and fowl.  It you have a few though, you would be missing somethi

1988 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1988
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$600.00USD

Beautiful showing for this thirty-one year old wine.  While I don't think it will get better, it still has plenty of life left.  Garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is earthy with cherries, slight funk and a bit of dried fruits.  On the palate, layers of black raspberry fruit, earth and slight funk.  Deep and complex.  Enough youth and acidity to keep things interesting.  This is at peak.  It will work better with food at this point.  Roasted meats and vegetables, stews but also Indian food would be great.  Should easily last another ten years if well stored.  

2014 J.L. Chave Sélection Hermitage Farconnet, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

OK, this one surprised me and exceeded my expectations.  This is again what Chave calls their negociant line but they do own the vineyards.  It is about one fifth the price of the Estate Hermitage.  I am not sure what I was expecting but those expectations were low considering the above and that 2014 was not a great year in the Northern Rhone.  Well, this wine was delightful.  It may not make three decades, but for the next decade, this is an awesome Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, violets, black pepper and slight barnyard.  Medium tannins.  On the palate

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