90/100 Punkte Robert Parker, Oct 2019 The 2018 Cotes du Rhone Rose La Dame Rousse is another solid example of this cuvée, which is a perennial value favorite. Plump and flavorful, it's marked by strawberry and melon flavors, with a juicy, mouthwatering finish.
90/100 Punkte Vinous August 2019 Light vivid orange. Ripe red berry and citrus fruit aromas are complicated by a subtle floral note and a hint of dusty minerals. Fleshy, spice-tinged raspberry and bitter cherry flavors open up slowly and turn sweeter with air. Distinctly concentrated but lively as well, closing with firm grip and repeating cherry and floral notes. Nothing easygoing here (it does check in at 14.5% alcohol, by the way), despite its relatively humble appellation.
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.
91/100 Punkte James Suckling, Oct 2019 A very fresh and lively Lirac with ripe red plums and raspberries. Some boysenberries, too. The palate has such smooth and lively tannins and delivers a bright, juicy impression. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.
93/100 Punkte Vinous August 2019 Vivid orange-pink. Deep-pitched cherry, red berry and lavender aromas, along with suggestions of blood orange and garrique. Stains the palate with concentrated, mineral-tinged raspberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that show sharp delineation and spicy lift. In a distinctly powerful style but in no way lacking for finesse, delivering strong, red-fruit-driven thrust on an impressively long, mineral-tinged finish.
91-93/100 Punkte Robert Parker Oct, 2019 Not yet bottled at the time of my visit, but the 2017 Lirac La Reine des Bois was blended. It's 40% Syrah and 30% each Grenache and Mourvèdre, with 10% aged in barriques and the rest kept in tank. There is a slight cedary note and hints of baking spices, but the focus is on layers of plush, ripe fruit. Cherries#both red and black#mark the full-bodied, velvety-textured palate, lingering on the long finish. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes.
17/20 Punkte Guide vert 2020 Toujours très équilibré, Les Crays est l'archétype d'un grand vin de l'appellation. Un style parfait où le chardonnay se donne des airs de ténors de la Côte-d'Or, alliant maturité, boisé noble et minéralité étirée.
94/100 Punkte Falstaff Juli 2019 Altersadäquat verschlossen. Gitterschokolade und Heidelbeere. Am Gaumen wird ein grosser Extrakt ins Feinste aufgelöst, das Tannin hat bei aller Feinheit Frische und Spannkraft. Entfaltet intensive Präsenz und lässt genug Platz für saftige Zwischentöne. Intensiver mineralischer Untergrund. Ein Châteaneuf ohne Effekthascherei. Gemacht für ein langes Leben.
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.
94/100 Punkte Robert Parker October 2018 Potent and intense, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Dame Voyageuse is a rich, dramatic bottling, the best I've tasted under this label. It's approachable now, but smart money is on it aging well for at least a decade. It's full-bodied and supple, with concentrated blueberry, mulberry and plum fruit, hints of licorice, cola and braised meat and just a dusting of baking spices (10% of the blend aged in oak). Tasted three times, with consistent notes.
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 2019 The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reine des Bois was bottled just two weeks before I visited the domaine in June, but despite that, it seemed open, lush and delicious on both occasions I tasted it (once blind a week later). Hints of oak and licorice accent black cherries in this big, plush, velvety-textured wine, which is 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% each Syrah and Vaccarèse. It's silky enough to enjoy young but has the requisite stuffing to age well for more than a decade.
94/100 Punkte Vinous Dec 2019 Shimmering magenta. Expansive, spice-accented raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suave incense and potpourri qualities. Seamless, energetic and sweet, offering an array of mineral-laced red and blue fruit preserve and floral pastille flavors and a touch of five-spice powder. Finishes juicy and impressively long, displaying fine-grained tannins and lingering florality.
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.
95+/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 2019 Every year that I've tried the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée, I've liked it better than the year before, so I've gone ahead and peremptorily added the + sign to this year's rating. Black cherries and licorice pick up a hint of chocolate in this full-bodied, rich, velvety wine that should evolve nicely for at least 12-15 years.