It’s fairly rare for nature to exceed winemakers’ expectations two years in a row, but this was the case in the Rhone Valley with the 2015 and 2016 vintages.
Almost as if 2016 had taken the previous vintage as a yardstick and then attempt to surpass it and reach out for perfection. With a mild winter, a wet spring and a hot summer, 2016 was moderate from a meteorological point of view.But this moderation proved to be the perfect catalyst for a slow and steady ripening of the grapes which were rich, juicy and highly aromatic when they were harvested. The origin of their immense quality lay in the maturity of the skins and pips, source of tannins, but above all in their extraordinary levels of acidity which gave elegance and delicacy to the wines. Bottled at the beginning of Autumn, the wines of this vintage are distinctive for their richness and remarkable longevity.
Habemus Papam 2016
Exuberantly fragrant as is its wont, Habemus Papam seduces, evidently, with its rich, spicy fruit, but above all with its slightly herbaceous, fresh character, all in notes of camphor and blackcurrant. Juicy, with an opulent softness in the mouth, its tannins are as yet still young and powerful, although showing rectitude and balance.
Les Saintes Vierges 2016
Lightness and fluidity are the watchwords of this plot. Deliciously delicate, its aromas oscillate between sweet cherry, cocoa, and lightly caramelized hazelnuts, as well as a lovely floral touch. It shows an amazing persistence carried by the finesse of its tannins….
Le Pied de Baud 2016
Serious and imperturbable, this wine draws its self-assurance from the power and finesse of its tannins, associated with a finely balanced mineral acidity. Delightfully spicy, as if infused with the fragrance of the undergrowth of the woods around the vineyard, with fruit as bright and pure as the climate, and a structure swathed in soft contours like the gentle outline of the hills of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Truly a child of the terroir.
La Crau Ouest 2016
Complex aromas take their time to open to reveal ripe black fruit, warm spices, and freshly cut wood. In the mouth, it is suave and full, with tight but extremely well-integrated tannins. This perfectly balanced wine offers up powerful flavors and a promising array of aromas. Good ageing potential.