89/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 31, 2018 The medium-pink 2017 Cotes du Rhone Rose La Dame Rousse is another top example of this cuvée. It offers raspberry, pear and melon flavors, a plump, medium-bodied mouthfeel and a long, citrusy finish. Crisp and clean, it should be consumed over the next several months.
91/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Nov 30, 2018 Enticingly ripe, with dense raspberry and blackberry paste flavors forming the core while light anise, sweet spice and toast notes fill in around it. A licorice edge takes center stage through the finish. For the hedonist crowd. Drink now through.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker June 2018 Bold, intense and flavorful, the 2017 Tavel La Reine des Bois continues to set the standard for the appellation. It's a rich, full-bodied rosé, with lush, mouth-filling flavors of cherries, raspberries and white chocolate, underscored by lime zest and refreshing brine notes. The price is creeping up, but it remains a benchmark in terms of quality.
93/100 Punkte Vinous August 2018 Brilliant orange-pink. Displays heady, mineral-accented raspberry, cherry and blood orange scents, with a suave floral accent that builds in the glass. Sappy and concentrated yet energetic as well, offering palate-staining red fruit, citrus zest and lavender pastille flavors and a hint of fennel. Shows real power and red fruit-driven character on the finish, which hangs on with impressive tenacity. I'd look at this rich, weighty Tavel more as a light red wine than a pink wine and serve it accordingly, with full-flavored, strongly seasoned, even earthy foods, perhaps even alongside grilled or braised red meat dishes.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker October 2017 The 2015 Lirac La Reine des Bois continues this estate's mastery of the appellation, combining hints of vanilla with black cherry fruit in a full-bodied, richly textured and tannic wine. The blend is 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre, with up to 15% being aged in barriques. Longtime readers will be happy to know that the 2010 (still youthful) and the 2006 (nearing maturity) are drinking well. Based on that, expect this vintage to drink well through at least 2030.
93+/100 Punkte Robert Parker, October 2018 One-third each Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, the 2016 Lirac La Reine des Bois continues this cuvée's tradition of overdelivering. Blueberry and mulberry fruit abound, dusted with cocoa and cinnamon. Full-bodied, rich and dense, it offers considerable aging potential, should you have the fortitude to resist it. It's juicy and long on the finish, where it picks up hints of licorice and baking spices. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
90-92/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 2016 The 2015 Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes comes from a parcel of 70-year-old vines adjacent to Sécher. Samuel Billaud commented he has found that this particular cuvée has become more saline and minerally in barrel. It has a very complex bouquet with scents of wet limestone, yellow plum and a touch of white peach. The palate is fresh on the entry with a touch of orange rind, steely and linear; it is strict for a Vaillons, with a precise and stony finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. This should represent an enticing Chablis once in bottle.
90-92/100 Punkte Robert Parker Oct 2015 Looking at the wines, and a new release for this estate, the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape La Belle Voyageuse is made from 90% Grenache, 4% Mourvedre, 4% Syrah and a splash of Counoise and Vaccarese that was raised mostly in stainless steel tanks, with 15% of the blend aged in barrel. Due to the forward nature of the vintage, this cuvée functions as a second wine and is made in a more forward, charming style than the more structured and serious La Reine des Bois release. Nevertheless, while a second wine for this estate, it#s still a huge success in the vintage and offers youthful, forward, and jammy notes of cassis, sappy flowers, violets and graphite to go with a mouth filling, medium to full-bodied style the palate. It has plenty of mid-palate depth, chewy tannin on the finish, and is already hard to resist. Nevertheless, I suspect it will have upwards of a decade of longevity.
92/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Sept 2016 Ripe and mouthfilling in feel, with a core of juicy raspberry pâte de fruit and plum cake flavors kept lively by anise and violet notes. Delivers energetic, brambly structure through the finish. Best from 2017 through 2024.
90-93/100 Punkte October 2016 Leading off the Châteauneuf du Papes and made from younger vines, with the goal to drink well in its youth, the Grenache-dominated 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape La Belle Voyageuse (there's 4% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, with a tiny splash of Counoise and Vaccarèse) sports a vibrant ruby/purple color as well as lively notes of raspberries, bouquet garni, spice box, dried soil and flowers. Medium to full-bodied, supple and elegant on the palate, it's a much more upfront, mid-weight effort compared to the more concentrated, structured Reine des Bois cuvée. It should drink nicely on release and over the following decade.
93/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Nov 30, 2018 Intense, featuring lively licorice and plum reduction notes leading the way, followed by fruitcake, raspberry pâte de fruit and sweet tobacco flavors. Shows excellent drive and focus through the finish, with a nice graphite edge. Best from 2020 through 2030.
92/100 Punkte Robert Parker, Oct 2017 According to Laurence Féraud, the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee was bottled in November 2016. It's already drinking well, with charming aromas of potpourri leading the way. It's medium to full-bodied, rounded out by just enough cherry fruit, then drawing to a spicy, leather-and-silk finish. Féraud calls it her little Burgundy.
92/100 Punkte Vinous April 2016 Light, hazy yellow. Explosive, mineral-driven aromas of fresh pear, peach pit and white flowers carry a gingery background note. Stony, focused and pure on the palate, offering intense orchard fruit and citrus fruit flavors that become weightier with air. Clings with strong tenacity on the finish, which shows excellent clarity and a resonating floral note.
93/100 Punkte Robert Paker August 31, 2018 A blend of 60% Clairette, 20% Grenache Blanc and 10% each Bourboulenc and Roussanne, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Cuvee Reservee is the best example of this cuvée I can recall. It's medium to full-bodied, with a lush, creamy mouthfeel and ripe flavors of melon and citrus balanced by hints of anise and lime zest. It finishes with freshness, vibrancy and brightness. I've been deliberately conservative with the aging estimate, as I like wines like this young, but it's capable of aging for a decade or more.
93/100 Punkte Vinous, October 2018 Pale green-tinged yellow. Heady, mineral-laced pear and melon aromas show outstanding clarity and a sexy floral nuance. Sappy and sharply focused on the palate, offering vibrant orchard fruit and honeydew flavors that are braced and lifted by a bitter citrus pith element. The floral note comes back strong on the finish, which lingers with outstanding, mineral-driven tenacity.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker, June 2016 The NV Arpège Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru is 100% Chardonnay based on 2010 (62%) and 2011 (38%), tirage in March 2012 and disgorgement in January 2015 with 4.5 grams of dosage. There is pure chalk and freshness on the nose, with white and intense fruit, as well as a yeasty Jura-like character. On the palate, this is a very complex and highly mineral Champagne with great purity, finesse, elegance and character. There is a lot of mineral grip and great complexity.
92/100 Punkte Vinous, November 2014 The NV Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Arpège is a gorgeous, sculpted Champagne built on precision. Crushed rocks, slate, green pears and citrus jump from the glass as this vibrant Champagne shows off its tense, pulsating personality. This is a gorgeous Champagne from Pascal Doquet. The Arpège is a blend of 2010 (19%), 2009 (50%) and 2008 (31%). Disgorged February 7, 2014. Dosage is 4 grams per liter.
94+/100 Punkte Robert Parker, August 31, 2018 The golden-yellow colored NV Grand Cru Le Mesnil sur Oger Diapason displays a deep, intense yet fresh, fine and complex bouquet of great elegance and terroir expression with chalk and citrus notes. Vinified 45% in small oak barrels, this is an intense, fresh and elegant grand cru, and the finish is intense and perfectly ripe but still precise, refined and delicately salty. This is a truly smart assemblage of two contrasting vintages (2008 and 2009) that takes the best of both to compose something new and complete. It's an excellent cuvée indeed. Bottled in April 2010 and disgorged as Extra Brut on December 12th, 2017. Tasted April 2018.