2001 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

This was given an hour in the decanter after decanting for sediment.  Purple/ruby in color.  This took a long time to come around.  In fact, we gave it another hour and then it finally started to open (2 hours total).  The nose is clean with raspberries, garrigue, and black licorice.  What a wonderful texture.  Silky yet plush and almost seamless.  Showing a bit of age, but then with more air it revived even further.  Lots of black and red raspberries, black cherries, lavender and spice.  Deep and tightly layered.  Long finish.  The proverbial last glass was the best.  This bottle was bough

2010 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

This is still quite young and patience will be rewarded.  That said, if you have a few or like them young, then this is great now too.  This bottle was decanted for four hours prior to drinking.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is black raspberries, charred wood, pepper, spice but also a lovely little lavender.  On the palate, this is big.  Brooding but still shows black raspberries, blueberries, black pepper and slight charred earth.  Medium tannins.  A nice streak of acidity.  Long finish.  This wine begs for food.  Cassoulet, steak or roasted vegetables would be great.  Probably another

2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

2016 is a stellar year in Chateauneuf du Pape and the southern Rhone Valley.  While this wine has years left in it, it was wonderful to drink now.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great.  Clean with black cherries, dust, spice and slight lavender notes.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Juicy black cherry fruit.  An underlying minerality.  Lots of depth.  Good finish.  It is a big wine at the moment, but will no doubt mellow and gain in complexity as it loses some of that youthful fruit.  This easily has a decade and more left to it, but it really is worth drinki

2006 Clos des Papes, France, Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is in a great place right now.  It won't get better although it will continue to mature.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is gorgeous with Black cherries, garrique, violets and tapenade.  On the palate, the texture is incredible.  Soft yet structured.  The wine just glides down the palate.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with some black cherries layered with a bit of earth.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This will go great with meat dishes and anything roasted.  No hurry, it should be at this level for a decade and even then some.  

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

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