96/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 31, 2018 Now that it has been in bottle a while, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee is looking even better than I projected based on last year's prebottling sample. It's all violets, cherries, subtle allspice and clove and traditional garrigue notes of lavender and thyme. Full-bodied and rich, it's crazy complex, adding hints of tar and black olives on the long, silky finish. It should evolve beautifully over the next two decades.
93-95/100 Punkte Vinous December 2016 Vivid ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, cherry and garrigue, while a suave floral element expands with air. Fleshy, seamless and broad on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and fruitcake flavors that are braced and lifted by a spine of juicy acidity. The floral note builds as the wine opens up and carries through the sweet, strikingly long finish, which leaves behind red fruit liqueur and licorice notes.
93-95/100 Punkte Robert Parker Aug 2018 Still in foudres, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee is even more impressive than it was last year. It's still firmly tannic, but the fruit seems to be growing in stature, adding volume and richness sufficient to round out the tannins. This full-bodied, concentrated wine offers hints of mocha and raspberries, but it seems a bit more monolithic than the 2015 at the moment.
93100 Punkte Robert Parker August 31, 2018 From chalk and silex soils, the golden-yellow colored 2006 Le Mont Aimé Premier Cru Coeur de Terroir has a very particular bouquet for the Côte des Blancs and needs a while to get rid of its rather reductive style (36% was fermented in small oak barrels). Concentrated citrus flavors evolve after a while in the glass. This could also be a ripe and flinty Chablis with bubbles. On the palate, this is a beautifully elegant, refined and rather crystalline Champagne, and its linear elegance is pretty unique. The finish is pure, salty and rather piquant but ripe. This is a fascinating wine that I perhaps slightly underrated in my review from two years ago (in Issue #225). This sample was disgorged in July 2017, about 2.5 years after the one I tasted in early 2016 for my previous review. The dosage is 3.5 grams per liter. The wine was bottled in April 2007, but the long lees aging adds a lot of elegance, finesse and charm. The finish is incredibl
92/100 Punkte Robert Parker, June 2016 The intensely yellow-colored 2005 Vertus Premier Cru Coeur de Terroir is a partly barrel-fermented (malolactic included) Chardonnay from the best parts of Vertus. Disgorged in April 2015 with five grams of dosage, this is a rich, round and full-bodied cuvée with great finesse and elegance. Chalky textured, the finish is pure, fresh and salty. The ripe Chardonnay fruit and chalky minerality are really persistent. This is a perfectly balanced and well-structured Vertus cru that is ready to be enjoyed today, but can be cellared for five or more years.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker 31st Aug 2018 Doquet's 2006 Vertus Premier Cru Coeur de Terroir is a selection from the best and oldest Chardonnay vines in Vertus. Fermented and aged on the lees, 60% in small oak barrels, it was bottled in April 2007 and disgorged as Extra Brut in July 2017 (with a dosage of 4.5 grams per liter). This is a highly aromatic, ripe, elegant and pretty sexy 2016 with lovely iodine and very fine (sweet) brioche flavors. Round and perfectly balanced on the palate, this is a rich, elegant, salty, beautifully lush, generous and perfectly balanced Vertus with a pure, fresh and salty finish. Fabulous!
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.
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.
90/100 Punkte Robert Parker, June 2016 Based on 2011 (59%) and 2012 (41%), the salmon-colored NV Anthocyanes Rosé Premier Cru is an assemblage of barrel-fermented Pinot Noir (67%) and Chardonnay (33%) from Vertus, de Bergères and Mont Aimé. Disgorged after three years in July 2015 with five grams of dosage, this is a full-bodied, round, intense and very elegant Rosé with great finesse and a persist finish. Serve with food.
92/100 Punkte Vinous, January 2015 Light orange. High-pitched aromas of dried cherry, pungent herbs and oyster shell, with a strong mineral overtone. Dry and precise on the palate, offering lively red fruit and bitter blood orange flavors and a subtle touch of smokiness. Finishes firm, minerally and very long, leaving energetic strawberry and orange pith notes behind.
93/100 Punkte Vinous Apr 2016 Deep ruby. Potent aromas of ripe dark berries, licorice pastille, woodsmoke, game and garrigue, plus a peppery nuance that adds spiciness and lift. Round and fleshy on the palate, offering intense blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become livelier and sweeter with air. The very long, energetic, sharply focused finish features fine-grained tannins and subtle, lingering notes of dark berries and smoked meat.
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.
91/100 Punkte James Suckling Oct 2016 With attractive red berry fruits on the nose, this is big on the strawberry fruit charm and really fresh. The palate's soft, creamy and bathed in ripe red-fruit flavors. A really primary, pure and fresh Champagne. Drink now.
93-95/100 Punkte Robert Parker Oct 2016 The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape is a classic blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault, mostly from rolled stone terroirs, that was partially destemmed and will see 15 months all in foudre. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and textbook Southern Rhône notes of cured meats, toasted spice, garrigue and ample red and black fruits. It will have two decades or more of prime drinking.
95/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Nov 30, 2017 Rich and dark in profile, with delicious, velvety layers of warm fig, black currant and blackberry confiture moving through slowly, flecked with hints of ganache, roasted apple wood and tar. The finish has cut to match the heft. A real brick house that will age well. Best from 2020 through 2040. 6,500 cases made.
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.
91/100 Punkte Vinous, January 2015 (80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay: Light yellow-gold. Potent, mineral-tinged Meyer lemon, pear and buttered toast aromas show very good clarity and a hint of anise. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering bitter pear skin and blood orange flavors that deepen and expand with air. Rich yet lithe Champagne with strong finishing cut, lift and stony persistence.
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.
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.
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.
92-94/100 Punkte Vinous Feb 2016 Brilliant ruby-red. Smoke-accented aromas of red and dark berry preserves, star anise and candied flowers convey a subtle hint of garriguein the background. Sweet, seamless and broad on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry and rose pastille flavors that turn spicier with air. Rich but vibrant as well, with no excess fat. Supple tannins build steadily on a very long, incisive finish that leaves behind notes of dark berries and candied flowers.
91/100 Punkte Vinous, January 2015 (95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Blanc: Pale gold. Candied lemon, lime pith and white flowers on the fragrant nose, with deeper orange and buttered toast qualities emerging with air. Juicy flavors of pear and Meyer lemon show impressive depth and cut, with a gingery nuance adding energy. Bright, focused and mineral-driven on the clinging finish, which leaves behind notes of honeysuckle and brioche.
91/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Nov. 30, 2012 A lithe Champagne, powered by racy acidity. Offers fine texture and flavors of white peach, candied lemon zest, pastry dough and crystallized honey, with a firm, minerally finish. Drink now through 2020. 3,000 cases made.
92/100 Punkte James Suckling October, 2017 Dried white flowers and white peach fruits with hints of lemon. Smells extremely fresh and lively. The palate has an attractive, fleshy and tangy texture. Flavors follow aromas in the stone fruit zone. Grilled nuts to close. Drink now.
91/100 Punkte Falstaff Helles Goldgelb mit feinperligem Mousseux. Bukett von frischen Himbeeren, reifen Erdbeeren und Cassis, ein Hauch von gelbem Pfirsich, Zitruszesten. Am Gaumen trocken und lebendiger Säurebogen, zupackend, geradlinig. Im Nachgeschmack ein Touch von getrockneten Wiesenkräutern mit würzigen Anklängen, animierend und erfrischend. Idealer Aperitif.
90/100 Punkte Robert Parker Apr 2019 The latest rendition of Drappier's NV Brut Nature Pinot Noir Zero Dosage André et Michel offers up pretty scents of crisp green apples, beeswax, dried white flowers and oyster shell. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and vibrant, with a youthfully frothy mousse, ripe acids and a precise, chalky finish. There's none of the austerity that mars some no-dosage Champagnes, and the wine makes a persuasive case for the proposition that the Aube is one of the areas best suited to that style.