Wine Spectator 96 Points: "Rich and alluring, with waves of steeped plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit rolling through, infused with Lapsang souchong tea, licorice root, sweet tobacco and fresh humus notes. Subtle incense and spice hints add detail on the finish, while the fruit gives a strong kick at the end. Best from 2021 through 2038."
Robert Parker 95-97 Points: "Not yet bottled, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois looks to be the star of Chapoutier's Southern Rhône collection. Cracked pepper, licorice and black raspberry notes sing loudly in this full-bodied, supple, creamy-textured beauty. There's a hint of warmth on the lingering, mouthwatering finish, which may limit its ageability, but this is so sexy and lush now, who could resist?
Tasting through this firm's extensive range with the voluble Michel Chapoutier is always a treat. Members of the technical team are present to answer any questions about vineyards and vinifications, the stemware is first-rate and Chapoutier is almost guaranteed to provide a quotable few words, or more. When the conversation turned toward green harvesting this year, he said, "I prefer contraception to abortion," meaning short pruning is his preference over dropping crop. He continues to augment the company's landholdings, recently purchasing Domaine Saint-Etienne in the Gard, with acreage in Costières de Nîmes, Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages. For brevity's sake, I've included just the core Chapoutier offerings in this part of the Southern Rhône report; other domaines, partnerships and the like will be in Part 2, slated for the Interim End of September Issue.
ALL BOTTLES ARE 750 ML UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
Adult Signature Required