"This has a large core of well-steeped plum, blackberry puree and warm cassis flavors, inlaid liberally with ganache, graphite and Turkish coffee notes. There’s a wide swath of tobacco and roasted alder detail through the finish, matched by racy acidity for balancing focus. This is very deep and very long, capturing the intense yet fresh fruit feel of the vintage to a T. Best from 2020 through 2040. From France." Wine Spectator 99 Points
"The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Collection Charles Giraud is a 60-40 blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, fermented with all the stems. There's a hint of cocoa, but raspberries and strawberries are the dominant fruit flavors in this lively, zesty wine. Trace notes of mint, lavender and tea leaf add complexity. Full-bodied and velvety in texture, it's intensely concentrated and rich yet not overly heavy or overripe (it weighs in at 15.5% alcohol), with a lingering, elegant finish. It's a tour de force that should age for two decades or more, and it will be interesting to see how it compares to the perfect 2010 after it's had a few years in bottle.
The energetic Isabel Ferrando, while positive about the 2016s in the bottle, was also enthusiastic about the 2017s in barrel. "Seventeen is a fantastic vintage. '16 is a monster, '17 is a dancer. And in your life, which do you prefer?" she asked. Unfortunately, many of the 2017s were still fermenting in June when I visited. I did taste a fantastic Cinsault destined for the Auguste Favier, which showed incredible complexity and silkiness, and a demi-muid of Grenache boasting great tea and rose-like aromas, but given the late-running fermentations, I felt it was premature to rate or review any of the 2017 reds. Fortunately, the 2016s were singing from bottle. "I believe in using stems," Ferrando said. "It gives a sensation of freshness and menthol." Like other winemakers in the region, Ferrando has taken to Stockinger as a supplier of oak for maturation, claiming that the Austrian cooperage results in more freshness and tension in the wines. If you're a fan of 100% Grenache wines, don't miss her Domaine Ferrando 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Colombis, which she makes at Domaine Saint-Préfert, but which is reviewed under its own heading." Robert Parker 99 Points
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