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100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

There is a huge difference between a good (or even great) wine and a heavenly blend of perfected fruit nectar concoctions. Only the finest wines can even get close to receiving the coveted 100-point score, a mark of quality that propels the producers into an elite club of world-class artisans. A single taste of one of these masterpieces can turn a normal person into a passionate wine aficionado, as these bottles each provide a unique, soul-enriching experience. Everything has to be perfect to justify a 100-point score; the texture, elegance, and complexity of the design, the carefully crafted flavor combination, and many other qualities.

Every blend from this glorious court can singlehandedly serve as the centerpiece of your collection – a sentiment amplified by how difficult and expensive most of them can be to acquire. That’s where we come in. As a top-class wine retailer, we aim to guide you through the enchanting world of excellent wines, as your childlike wonder awakens anew in the face of these mouth-watering works of art. Our goal is to help you understand what makes these wines so desirable among passionate enthusiasts and eventually get your hands on them. There is a perfect blend for everyone in the world, and finding yours can be a life-changing moment. Let’s explore this
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1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc

This is one of the greatest dry white wines I have ever tasted. The 1999 Ermitage l’Ermite is a liquid mineral, crystalline expression. It is the essence of its grape as well as terroir. It may be the greatest expression of terroir I have seen outside of a handful of Alsatian Rieslings (Clos Ste. Hune comes to mind). It has that transparent character that terroiristes talk more about than actually recognize. Drinking it is like consuming a liquified stony concoction mixed with white flowers, licorice, and honeyed fruits. It is frightfully pure, dense, and well-delineated. As I said last year, "There is no real fruit character, just glycerin, alcohol, and liquid stones." That’s about it, but, wow, what an expression! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. This is for the connoisseur of rare wines. Along with Gerard and Jean-Louis Chave, Chapoutier is producing the finest expressions of white Hermitage. His single vineyard cuvees are to die for if you like these eccentric, idiosyncratic, mammoth dry whites.Robert Parker | 100 RPNo written review provided. | 93 W&SBeautiful. Thick, yet so reserved aromatically, with plenty of honey, mineral, macadamia nut, pear tart and passion fruit. What makes it a winner is the opulent, smooth texture. Drink now through 2010. 380 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS(from 70-to-80-year-old vines planted on granite soil; done entirely in new barriques) Spiced apple, minerals and toffee on the nose. Bright, firm, minerally and quite stylish. Very fine in the mouth and on the suave finish, which features oak notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.Vinous Media | 90+ VMYou call it Hermitage, they call it Ermitage; regardless, this is one smooth, waxy wine with mature peach aromas and papaya flavors that spread across your palate like sea foam on the beach. The toasty finish is soft and subdued, with hints of licorice and pepper. Quite complex and idiosyncratic; it’s the polar opposite of “mainstream.” Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

100
RP
As low as $1,399.00
2000 beaucastel cdp hommage a jacques perrin Rhone Red

The 2000 possesses an impenetrable black/purple color as well as a sumptuous bouquet of melted licorice, creosote, new saddle leather, blackberry and cherry fruit as well as roasted meats. Sweet and full-bodied, with great intensity, huge power, and a finish that lasts for 67 seconds by my watch, this is an amazing tour de force in winemaking. Even in a flattering, forward-styled vintage such as 2000, it will need 7-8 years of cellaring, yet this is the most accessible Jacques Perrin I have tasted. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040.Robert Parker | 99 RP(the blend, based on 60% mourvedre, was to have been bottled a week after my visit) Saturated bright deep ruby. Incredible kaleidoscope of a nose: blackberry, currant, violet, espresso, bitter chocolate, truffle, eucalyptus, gibier, licorice, pepper and wild spices. Similarly multifaceted in the mouth; hugely concentrated and lush but lively and light on its feet. This boasts an extraordinary core of dark fruit. Finishes extremely long, juicy and young. This is even stronger than it appeared to be a year ago. In comparison to this wine, the 1999 version, which I retasted alongside the 2000, was a bit more port-like, with strong notes of fruit cake and maple syrup and a superripe, chocolatey finish; I rated the wine 96 but felt that the 2000 showed even greater long-term potential.Vinous Media | 95-98 VMA wine that continues to show beautifully is the 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin. Still vibrant ruby-colored with an incredible nose of blackcurrants, beef blood, truffle, incense and cured meats, it’s a huge, opulent, concentrated 2000 that has a stacked mid-palate, sweet tannin, no hard edges and a finish that just won’t quit. It’s a heavenly red that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDA seducer, this Old World blockbuster dazzles with its class. Ultrarich, pitch-black, it remains elegant and refined despite its monster structure, but it’s open-knit, delivering earthy, mineral, iron and wet fur character along with the plum and blackberry. Long, refined finish. Drink now through 2025. 500 cases made. — PMWine Spectator | 95 WS(Château de Beaucastel, Hommage à Jacques Perrin, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France, Red) Bloody on the nose, fresh meat and iron. Mature now, with some earthy notes among the autumnal fruits underpinned by a distinctly spicy aromatic vein. Only medium-bodied, ready to drink now, in fact it’s time to drink up - it’s unlikely to improve. Sappy acidity and a touch of polished wood on the finish. Tannins are a little lacking in finesse, but there’s good complexity and a regal touch - ageing royalty. (Drink between 2020-2022)Decanter | 94 DEC(Châteauneuf du Pape “Hommage à Jacques Perrin”- Château de Beaucastel) The 2000 Hommage from Château de Beaucastel is quite marked by brettanomyces and this will affect one’s appreciation of the wine, depending on one’s tolerance of brett. The bouquet is a mix of cassis, saddle leather, a fair bit of barnyard, dark soil tones and a topnote of bonfires. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and classically proportioned, with a good core, moderate tannins and a long, nascently complex finish that closes with good grip. If one really dislikes brett, then deduct several points from my score, but for those with some tolerance, this is a good bottle in the making- though still in need of far more time in the cellar to really blossom! (Drink between 2025-2055)John Gilman | 92 JG

100
RP-HG
As low as $499.00
2000 chapoutier ermitage de loree Hermitage

These wines usually flirt with perfection, which is the case with the 2000 Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree. It boasts an amazing nose of licorice, minerals, acacia flowers, honeysuckle, and a hint of butter. Unctuously-textured and full-bodied, with great intensity and purity, yet remarkably light on its feet, it can be drunk over the next 3-4 years, then forgotten for a decade, after which it will last for 40-50 years.Year in and year out, one of the most profound white Hermitages produced is Chapoutier’s Cuvee de l’Oree. These are controversial dry whites because they tend to taste great young, go into a funky, nearly oxidized stage, and re-emerge at age 10-15 as full-blown, waxy, honeyed, dry wines with the potential to age for 20-50 years.This offering is typically made from exceedingly low yields of 12-15 hectoliters per hectare. Chapoutier has moved from small oak barrels to the 650-liter Burgundy barrels known as demi-muids, which are essentially the equivalent of three regular barrels.These uncompromising offerings from a young genius are not meant for consumers who want something to drink immediately. They are the essence of bio-dynamically farmed vineyard sites cropped incredibly low, given extended fermentations with indigenous yeasts, and rarely touched until they go into the bottle unfined and unfiltered. In most vintages, the wines are not even racked off their lees, which only adds to their natural style. These are truly remarkable wines, but for most readers, patience is the operative rule as they generally need a good 8-10 years to strut their stuff.Once moribund, over the last 12 years, this firm has become one of the reference points for nearly all the Rhone Valley appellations since the brash yet immensely talented Michel Chapoutier took over in the late eighties. The single vineyard offerings are as good as Rhone Valley wines can be. Moreover, Chapoutier continues to upgrade the quality of those wines offered in more significant quantities than the 500 or so cases each of the single vineyard offerings.Robert Parker | 100 RPClosed and tight at first but opened slightly with air. Very rich with stone fruit notes, earth, minerals, smoke and buttery notes. Just an amazing, full bodied palate. Soft, full and seamless with a killer long finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDChapoutier has chosen the old-fashioned spelling for this big, brooding bomber that will likely wow some yet might fail to impress others. We liked its heft and swagger, and we project that it will age well and do wonders for proper food accompaniments. The nose is all wood smoke, lacquer and butter, while apple, banana and white pepper dominate the flavor range. Very powerful and quite idiosyncratic. A cookie-cutter white it's not, as it deserves time to unfold.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE(bottled in September) Vibrant fruit aromas complicated by a note of butterscotch. Complex flavors of candied fruits and lemon; quite discreet today but with a distinct aspect of surmaturite Manages to wear its 14.5% alcohol fairly gracefully. Still, this rather backward wine is a bit warm on the back end.Vinous Media | 90+ VM

100
RP
As low as $325.00
2005 guigal cote rotie la mouline Cote Rotie

Doing everything right and one of the best young wines I’ve ever tasted, the 2005 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline offers extraordinarily complex and nuanced aromatics of smoked bacon, chocolate, toast, and hints of flowers that are integrated perfectly with the deep raspberry and blackberry fruit profile that only Côte-Rôtie can deliver. Full bodied, dense, concentrated, and seamless on the palate, with a gorgeously suave and silky texture, perfect balance, and ultra fine tannin structure. Despite the structure here, this maintains a subtle elegance and weightlessness that is nothing short of captivating. An awesome wine, I would cellar bottles for a decade, and then drink over the following 20 or so years.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDSimilar to the powerful 1988, the inky/purple-colored, dense 2005 Cote Rotie La Mouline offers a stunning perfume of espresso roast, licorice, pepper, blackberries, and black cherries intermixed with hints of chocolate and spring flowers. Powerful, super-concentrated, and ruggedly-constructed with a boatload of tannin, this is a wine to forget for 4-5 years, and drink over the following 25-30. It is the densest, most tannic vintage of La Mouline since 1988.Robert Parker | 100 RPExtremely dense, with Turkish coffee and bittersweet cocoa notes leading the way for a huge core of macerated plum and currant fruit, with warm fig reduction and hoisin sauce notes. The long, graphite- and toast-driven finish sails on and on. Best from 2012 through 2030. 415 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSVivid ruby. Sexy black raspberry and floral aromas are complicated by smoky minerals, Asian spices and a whiff of smoke. Silky, alluringly sweet red and dark berry flavors pack serious punch but come off as weightless, with tangy minerality adding spine and precision. Showing more elegance than last year: its finishing lift, clarity and sweetness comes across as distinctly Burgundian. This suave wine is surprisingly open-knit but I'd wait a while before opening a bottle.Vinous Media | 96 VM

100
RP
As low as $689.00
2009 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

Another perfect wine is the 2009 Cote Rotie La Turque. It possesses a slightly denser purple color than the opaque Cote Rotie La Mouline as well as notes of Asian spices, roasted meats, bouquet garni, spring flowers, camphor and truffles. It is a different expression of Syrah as this comes from the more iron-laden soils of the Cote Brune. Although never as aromatic, precocious or enjoyable as La Mouline is in its youth, La Turque is, nevertheless, a remarkably concentrated, profound wine that is built like a skyscraper. It possesses a level of intensity and richness that must be tasted to be believed. Despite the flamboyant personality of the vintage, the 2009 will require 4-5 years of cellaring and should age effortlessly for 25-30 years.Robert Parker | 100 RPPossibly my favorite vintage ever for the Northern Rhône (2010 and 2015 are both in the running), the 2009 Côte Rôtie La Turque is a mammoth of wine that offers everything you could want. Deep purple/plum-hued, this full-bodied, thick, opulent Côte Rôtie offers loads of sweet tannins, a deep, layered mid-palate, and straight-up heavenly notes of smoked meats, Asian spices, bacon fat, espresso roast, and loads of sweet, perfectly ripe black fruits. It’s much more opulent and sexy than the more classically built 2010 (and 2005 and 2015) and if this doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will. It’s going to shine for another 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDA pure, unadulterated raspberry confiture aroma and flavor is the dominant note today in this deep and expressive red, with extra singed anise, alder, juniper and black currant notes filling in the background, followed by a very dense yet supremely polished finish. Features the weight and density of this fleshy vintage, but the fruit is so inviting this is almost approachable now. Better to wait though. Best from 2015 through 2035. 400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSDark purple. Sexy, expansive aromas of boysenberry, violet and incense, with a bright mineral quality adding lift. Offers an array of ripe, luscious black and blue fruit and floral flavors that become spicier with air. Sappy, broad and sweet on the gently tannic finish, which shows superb clarity and persistence.Vinous Media | 95 VM

100
RP
As low as $625.00
2010 clape cornas Rhone Red

Eclipsing even the 2009, the 2010 Cornas achieved one of the highest natural alcohol levels (14%) ever recorded at Clape. This complex, inky/purple-colored effort boasts abundant notes of charcoal, licorice, blackberries and blueberries intermixed with a hint of scorched earth (or is it charcoal embers?), a full-bodied mouthfeel, a seamless personality and a crushed rock-like minerality. The tannins are so sweet it will be drinkable in 2-3 years, and should keep for 25 or more. It is a tour de force in what Syrah can achieve in this hallowed appellation. Kudos to the Clape family, especially Pierre-Marie.An historic reference point in Cornas is the estate of the retired Auguste Clape, which has been run over the last decade by his talented son, Pierre-Marie. This estate may have produced their finest wines to date in 2009, but the 2011s and 2010s rival anything produced at this family-owned, tiny boutique producer. They offer two cuvees of Cornas with the Renaissance representing their younger vines (although most of those are between 30 and 50 years of age). The top cuvee, simply called Cornas, has been a favorite of mine since the late seventies.Robert Parker | 100 RPAn exceptional vintage in the Northern Rhône has produced a very full, lush and ripe style here. It has all the tannin and structure you could hope for, and it’s searingly fresh, with delicious juicy berry fruits and an exceptionally long finish. It’s a tempestuous style, ferric and violet-tinged at the same time. A great vintage for Clape, a soaring wine. Drinking Window 2023 - 2045.Decanter | 99 DECA fantastic wine from an epic vintage, the 2010 Clape Cornas is still at least five years away from hitting its stride, and I suspect it will still be impressing lucky wine-lovers for at least a decade after that. A hugely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black/blue fruits, candied flowers, incense, olive paste and Moroccan spices, with only a hint of gaminess in the background. Deeply concentrated and energetic, there’s an uncanny balance of richness and energy to the sweet black currant, cherry preserve and fruitcake flavors. Fine-grained tannins make a late appearance but are quickly absorbed by the lush, creamy fruit. I’d be in no hurry to drink this, but with a bit of aeration it’s a stunner.Vinous Media | 98 VMRock-solid and well-built, with a frame of charcoal and tar around a core of dark plum, blackberry and black currant fruit, revealing loads of tobacco, singed bay leaf and graphite notes in reserve. This should age beautifully, showing excellent range, character and definition. Best from 2017 through 2030. 228 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

100
RP
As low as $445.00
2010 domaine grand veneur cdp vieilles vignes Chateauneuf du Pape

A monumental effort meriting a perfect score, the super-rich 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 4,000-bottle blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from 55- to 105-year-old vines and was aged for 18 months in small oak. The wine offers majestic blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with kirsch, licorice and subtle Provencal herbs in the background. It is akin to chewing meat in the mouth given its viscosity and thickness. This utterly amazing wine comes close to being over the top, but it pulls back just in time. A massive Chateauneuf du Pape (even for a 2010), it needs 5-6 years of cellaring and should age effortlessly for 25-30 years. Bravo!With impressive holdings in the northern sector of Chateauneuf du Pape as well as an ever expanding, high quality negociant business, brothers Christophe and Sebastian Jaume have taken this estate, established in 1826, to new heights. The estate wines, which are sold under the Domaine Grand Veneur label, are classic, quasi-modern-styled Chateauneuf du Papes that represent brilliant examples of their impeccable viticulture and winemaking. Interestingly, all three cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape were produced in 2011. That decision appears to be justified by the quality of what I tasted as well as their potential for extended maturity beyond a decade. As for the 2010s, the Alain Jaume offerings and the Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone cuvees were all reviewed in my report on the wines of Kysela Pere et Fils in Issue #201. The 2010 Domaine Grand Veneur estate wines, especially the Chateauneuf du Papes, are brilliant.Robert Parker | 100 RPI absolutely loved this wine on release (I rated it 98+) and it certainly didn’t disappoint on this occasion. Made from a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah that spent 18 months in mostly new barrels, this tour de force gives up killer notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, wood smoke, cured meats and wild herbs. Deep, rich and concentrated, yet opulent and expansive, it’s just now starting to round the corner and is at the early stages of maturity. It will keep for another 15+ years.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDOpaque purple. Deeply pitched aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry-cola, lavender and vanilla, with a spicy topnote. Fleshy, palate-staining blueberry and cassis flavors are lifted by juicy acidity and pick up a smoky quality with air. Supple and expansive on the endless finish, which strongly echoes the dark fruit and vanilla notes.Vinous Media | 95 VMRipe and packed, but well-focused, with a broad beam of linzer torte and boysenberry fruit backed by graphite, violet and pastis notes. Picks up plenty of muscle and toasted spice on the finish, showing lots of latent depth in reserve. Very solid. Best from 2014 through 2024. 250 cases made, 40 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

100
RP
As low as $569.00
2010 guigal hermitage ex voto Hermitage

The 2010 Hermitage Ex Voto continues to top out on my scale. This extraordinary Hermitage has more minerality and delineation than the 2009, as well as overflowing aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, jammy blackberries, violets, graphite and wood smoke. Massively concentrated, full-bodied, decadent, layered and sexy, it needs short-term cellaring but should be just about immortal in the cellar.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThis has lavish range, with intense steeped plum, anise, pain d’épices, singed apple wood and fruitcake notes layered together, framed by smoldering charcoal and sweet tobacco accents and riveted to a tarry spine. Expands like a fractal in the glass to display enormous depth and length. Features mouthwatering cut from start to finish despite the heft. An extremely impressive wine that will need some time to stretch out fully. Best from 2018 through 2040. 600 cases made, 120 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WSInky purple. A wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, incense, olive paste and smoky minerals. Sweet, penetrating and pure, offering palate-staining boysenberry and cassis flavors and suggestions of candied licorice and fruitcake. Densely packed yet lively, finishing with remarkable power and smooth tannins that add shape and grip.Vinous Media | 95 VM

100
RP
As low as $299.00
2011 chapoutier hermitage le pavillon Hermitage

Even better and a prodigious effort that hits all my sweet spots, the 2011 Ermitage Le Pavillon comes from one of the top terroirs on Hermitage hill, the granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit. Spectacularly perfumed, with raspberry, blackberry, licorice, toasted spices and assorted floral nuances, this full-bodied effort has massive depth and richness, no hard edges and masses of finely polished tannin that emerge on and frame the finish. It will be approachable at an earlier age than either the 2009 or 2010, yet should nevertheless have 2-3 decades of ultimate longevity.This was an incredible tasting with Michel Chapoutier and his second hand man, Pierre-Henri Morel. Certainly one of the success stories in wine, which Robert Parker does a fabulous job of detailing in Issue 204, this estate goes from strength to strength in just about every appellation in the Rhone Valley. Looking specifically at Hermitage, Chapoutier owns a massive 64 acres, mostly on the famed Bessards lieu-dit, yet also with significant portions on Le Meal, L’Ermite and Les Greffieux, with smaller portions in the Beaume and Murets lieux-dits. From this he fashions five reds (Monier De La Sizeranne, Les Greffieux, Le Meal, Le Pavillon and L’Ermite) and four whites (Chante Alouette, Cuvee de l’Oree, Le Meal Blanc and L’Ermite Blanc), all of which are brilliant wines, with the best ranking up alongside the top wines in the world. In addition, his Saint Josephs (Les Granits and Le Clos) are some of the leading wines of the appellation (along with Guigal’s Vignes de l’Hospice and a few others), and his Cote Rotie La Mordoree, which comes from his 12 acres (split between the roughly defined Cote Blonde and Cote Brune regions), is always a classic example of the appellation. I was also able to taste through a full lineup of his Languedoc and Roussillon releases, all of which were impressive. I’ll review those wines in my 2014 coverage on those regions. Looking at the 2011 whites, these were all tasted by Robert Parker last year, but since I tasted through the lineup, I opted to include reviews here as well.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPDensely packed, with dark plum, currant paste and macerated fig fruit, offset by a zesty edge. Briary tannins stride along with the copious fruit, revealing lots of spice and bramble notes on the finish. Very dense for the vintage. Best from 2016 through 2030. 32 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSInky ruby. Exotic, intensely perfumed scents of raspberry liqueur, floral pastilles and Asian spices, with subtle black pepper and mineral qualities emerging with aeration. Juicy, focused and pure, offering vibrant red fruit and spicecake flavors and showing impressive tension and back-end power. Clings on the finish with excellent persistence, silky tannins and an echo of exotic spices. This suave wine is surprisingly showy right now but Pierre-Henri Morel said that that was "a deception, because this one will probably age the longest of all the Ermitage cuvees parcellaires."Vinous Media | 93 VM

100
RP
As low as $275.00
2015 chapoutier hermitage le meal blanc Hermitage

Another perfect wine is the 2015 Ermitage le Meal Blanc. The most decadent, unctuous and layered in the lineup, with to-die-for notes of white currants, toasted nuts, celery seed and licorice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a huge mid-palate and a refreshing, pure, yet blockbuster finish that just won’t quit. If I had to pick a desert island white, this might be it.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPLovely, featuring waves of Jonagold apple, mirabelle plum, lemon curd and white peach flavors, all gilded with hints of honeysuckle, verbena and jasmine. Shows terrific range, with superior detail through the finish and lingering minerality adding length. Drink now through 2030. 636 cases made, 29 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSLurid yellow-gold. Penetrating aromas of ripe, mineral-accented citrus and pit fruits are complicated by hints of chalky minerals, saffron and chamomile. Juicy, smoky and deeply concentrated but lithe on the palate, offering densely packed peach nectar, pear liqueur, Meyer lemon and buttered toast flavors that show superb drive and focus. The mineral note repeats emphatically on the incisive, smoke-laced finish, which lingers with outstanding persistence.Vinous Media | 96 VMThis is dressed to impress with fresh oak framing up fragrant, ripe and slightly tarry black-fruit and cassis aromas. Pepper and graphite, too. The palate is superbly weighted, showing a classic interplay of elegance and power. Deeply succulent blackberries and black cherries snap fresh into the finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2021.James Suckling | 96 JS

100
RP
As low as $499.00
2016 pegau cdp cuvee de capo Chateauneuf du Pape

I was also able to taste the 2016 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Da Capo, which comes mostly from older vines in the La Crau lieu-dit and spends an additional year in a large foudre. The 2016 vintage was truly magical for the region, and this Cuvée Da Capo is unquestionably one of the finest vintages for this cuvée ever made, in the same league as, if not surpassing, the 1998, 2003, 2007, and 2010. Sensational notes of cured meats, crème de cassis, crushed violets, ground pepper, tapenade, truffle, and sweet herbes de Provence all soar from the glass and it hits the palate with a massive, full-bodied style that stays seamless, weightless, and as pure as they come. Traditional, classic Châteauneuf Du Pape doesn’t get better. I hate to be the guy who throws out the “best to date” line very often, but this is truly magical stuff.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDAs impressive as the Cuvée Réservée is, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée da Capo brings an extra level of intensity. Turn that volume up to 11 or even 12. Waves of black cherries, plums and chocolate wash across the full-bodied, velvety palate, lingering nearly forever on the finish. As big and bold as it is, it remains breathtakingly elegant and fine. It should evolve gracefully through at least 2040.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPBlack-cherry and plum flavors are ripe but pertly balanced in this Grenache blend. It’s spicy and intensely aromatic, wafting of cloves, allspice and caramel, yet revitalizing and mineral too. The finish is endlessly long, fringed by fine, taut tannins. It’s stunning now but should improve through 2036 and hold further still.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEAll 13 varieties have been used from lieux-dits La Crau, Les Escondudes and Mont Pertuis, with no destemming. There’s some complexity and interest on the nose already, with aromas of violets, blueberries, raspberries and a touch of tobacco leaf. The wine is medium to full-bodied, but without any heaviness, with sublime freshness and piercing acidity. This has real life, and a lightness of touch which delivers real drinkability. Very fine, abundant ripe tannins work like a lattice through the fruit. The fairly raised levels of alcohol don’t give a sense of imbalance in the wine, and it finishes on a lifted note. The best Da Capo in a long time. Real elegance. Drinking Window 2020 - 2036Decanter | 97 DECVivid ruby. Intensely perfumed dark berry, cherry preserve and licorice aromas are complemented by hints of game, exotic spices and candied lavender. Deep, sweet and expansive on the palate, offering densely packed raspberry, cola and floral pastille flavors and a strong suggestion of spicecake. Shows superb clarity and power on a ridiculously long, sappy finish that eventually leaves behind cherry liqueur and bitter chocolate notes.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis is richly fruited, with succulent plum, boysenberry and fig preserve flavors that are seamlessly layered and laced with warm anise, black tea and smoldering tobacco notes. The long finish features well-embedded chalky grip that gives this cut to match the lush fruit. A beauty. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2021 through 2040. 833 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThis is the second year in a row that the Férauds have bottled this rare cuvée, made only in exceptional vintages. The 2016 is even more intense than the 2015, with a bright energy that makes it inviting despite its size. A blend of all 13 red-wine varieties permitted in the appellation, fermented in whole bunches with ambient yeasts in tank, it uses stemmy herbal notes to lift the masses of dark, figgy fruit, taking it into higher, fresher registers of roses and seedy strawberries, cracked peppercorns and garrigue. The tannins and alcohol are not harsh, but intense enough to suggest this is best left untouched in the cellar for five years, or even 15.Wine & Spirits | 96 W&SAn impressive wine for the concentration and punchy fruit impact. Pears, melons and assertive lemon citrus weighs in on the palate. The length and purity is stunning. A gently savory, pastry-like edge to the finish. Will age superbly. Try from 2020.James Suckling | 93 JS

100
JD
As low as $379.00
2016 saint prefert cdp collecion charles giraud Chateauneuf du Pape

A perfect wine that’s up with the top handful of wines in this incredible vintage, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Collection Charles Giraud (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) boasts a sensational nose of currants, cured meats, kirsch, exotic spices, and sandalwood. Deep, full-bodied and powerful, yet with an incredible sense of elegance and purity, it just glides across the palate and, despite its awesome intensity, it never seems heavy or over the top. Give it 2-3 years, and it will keep for two decades or more. Proprietress Isabel Ferrando has taken her Saint Prefert estate to France’s highest level, and she’s unquestionably making some of the most profound wines on earth today, including both reds and whites. The estate is located in the southern portion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and covers roughly 55 acres, from which she releases five cuvées: two whites and three reds. Looking at the reds, the classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape is always a rough blend of 90% Grenache (from 70-year-old vines) and the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre aged in demi-muids and smaller barrels. The Reserve Auguste Favier comes from 60- to 100-year-old vines and is based largely on Grenache with around 15% Cinsault, aged all in older barrels. This cuvée always shows a seamless, elegant profile. Lastly, and what I would consider her top wine, the Collection Charles Giraud is always a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the Grenache aged in tank and the Mourvèdre in demi-muids. I’ve also included her Châteauneuf-du-Pape Colombis cuvée here, which is released under the Isabel Ferrando label. It’s 100% Grenache from the sandy soils of the Colombis lieu-dit located on the western edge of the appellation. As I’ve written in the past, readers looking for the essence of Grenache shouldn’t miss this beauty. While the style changed slightly in 2009, when she started including more stems and harvesting earlier, these latest releases show sensational depth of fruit and texture, and are almost overflowing with Provençal charm. Today, she is assisted by consultant Baptiste Olivier, who’s increasingly working with the top estates in the region. Madame Ferrando is at the top of her game. (Drink between 2021-2041)Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThis 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. Wine Spectator | 99 WSThe 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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPVivid glistening violet. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes mineral-tinged red and blue fruit preserves, incense and exotic spices, and a sexy floral nuance gains power as the wine opens up. Fleshy, seamless, appealingly sweet and energetic on the palate, offering densely packed, finely detailed raspberry, boysenberry, lavender and candied licorice flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. Suggestions of five-spice powder and smoked meat appear on the penetrating finish, which shows outstanding clarity, finely wrought tannins and endless red fruit and floral notes.Vinous Media | 97 VMFresh, lifted violets and blueberries with a touch of liquorice on the nose. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth, concentrated juice that is very precisely tailored. Everything is in the right proportion: acidity, fruit, ripe tannin. It’s big but not massive, and very well balanced. A consistently strong performer, this will be a really good wine, generous in fruit but structured. (Drink between 2020-2032) | 96 DECThe hedonistic favorite among this producer’s 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape bottlings, this weighty blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre juxtaposes pristine mulberry and plum flavors against a creamy, voluminous palate. Flamboyant and explosively fruity, its immediately appealing style is accentuated by fine, ripe tannins.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE

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As low as $185.00
2018 e. guigal ermitage ex voto blanc Hermitage

Built for the long haul, the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc is a majestic, noble white that could only come from this incredible, south-facing hillside in Hermitage. Revealing a light gold hue as well as notes of quince, honeyed minerality, toasted spices, orange marmalade, and spring flowers, this deep, rich, and full-bodied white has absorbed just about every trace of its oak élevage and has a concentrated, rich, yet focused and lengthy style. This cuvée had a more oaky, opulent style in the past, but today it comes across as a much more pure, elegant wine while not giving an inch with regard to density, texture, and concentration. As with just about every top Hermitage Blanc today, this offers plenty of immediate pleasure with its pure, fresh, mineral-laced style. Don’t discount how much pleasure these wines can offer in their youth and always ignore the "always too young" crowd. This 2018 is going to evolve gracefully and drink brilliantly for 5-7 years, then (maybe) go into a closed, almost oxidative stage, only to emerge after 5-7 years and evolve for decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDFull-bodied and rounded, with firm acidity and salinity. The oak has taken over at this early stage and will always be quite dominant, however the fruit is deep and should harmonise with the wood in time. Very long and ending with butterscotch and quince, the élevage will always be a strong feature of the wine, but the depth is there for long ageing. For release in 2022. 100% new oak barriques. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038.Decanter | 96 DECThe last time I saw the 2018 Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc, it came across as opulent and fruit-forward. Now that it’s in bottle (and scheduled to be released in February 2022), it’s less tropical, showing more restraint and (perhaps) greater aging potential. Hints of toasted grain, lime custard and scorched lemon zest appear on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is rich, delivering notes of toasted marshmallow and a heavily textured, slightly coarse texture, but finishes long.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

100
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As low as $195.00
2019 domaine de la janasse chateauneuf du pape cuvee xxl Chateauneuf du Pape

Lastly, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape XXL is pure magic and one of the most singular wines out there. Based on 65% Grenache and the rest Syrah and other varieties, it was only 30% destemmed and brought up all in demi-muids. Where previous vintages of this beauty were almost over the top, the 2019 shows a more elegant, pure, balanced profile as well as incredible aromatics of ripe red and black fruits, herbes de Provence, ground pepper, violets, and other notes of Southern Rhône-like goodness. Incredibly powerful and opulent, it somehow manages to stay perfectly balanced, has a wonderful sense of freshness, silky yet substantial tannins, and an awesome finish. Unfortunately, there are just over 300 cases produced, so it won’t be easy to find, but this ranks with the all-time greats. It deserves 4-5 years of bottle age and should evolve for 30 years if well-stored.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD

100
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As low as $299.00
2019 m. chapoutier ermitage le pavillon Hermitage

The star of the show as well as one of the wines of this great vintage, the 2019 Ermitage Le Pavillon comes all from broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit and was all destemmed, vinified in concrete tanks, and brought up in just 15% new French oak, with a tiny amount in a small foudre as well. The level of new oak continues to plummet at this estate, which around a decade ago or more was utilizing 100% new barrels. Full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful, it’s a perfect example of the Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove saying and has incredible opulence paired with precision and finesse. Giving up both blue and black fruits as well as powdered stone, violets, scorched earth, and subtle smoke, this is pure Hermitage magic and Syrah doesn’t get any better. It needs at least 7-8 years (a decade would be better) of bottle age and will be a 50-year wine.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThis has the silky, flowing, thoroughbred style of Le Pavillon - incredible tannic finesse, but so big and shot through with ripe tannin. The alcohol does peep through a little, it’s just perceptible, but the concentration and tannic load are enough to bring balance. Will be a velvety opulent treat when it’s ready. But for now, the tannic frame is immense. A statuesque vintage of Le Pavillon. (Drink between 2030-2045)Decanter | 98 DECMassively concentrated and tannic, Chapoutier’s 2019 Ermitage le Pavillon looks as if it will take a few more years to come around than the other selections parcellaires. The initial scents of crushed stone and cassis are intriguing, but this full-bodied wine comes across almost cold and reserved yet immensely promising. On this occasion, Michel Chapoutier pronounced it "a tea of granite," which describes it fairly well, although hints of its future charms can be seen on the long, licorice-tinged and mouthwatering finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPVery deep black-fruit and bitter-chocolate aromas, but also notes of balsamic vinegar, leather and tar. Very powerful and weighty, but with mineral freshness that keeps it very bright. The enormous, fine tannins are married to very sweet fruit The brain-rattling intensity at the finish might be too much now, but give it a few years in bottle and it will blow your mind. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2025.James Suckling | 98 JSRacy and vibrant, with vigorous mulberry, loganberry and plum compote notes carried by bramble and tar, picking up sweet tobacco and humus accents along the way. The long finish, marked by alder and smoke, keeps the fruit front and center. Best from 2025 through 2040. 24 cases imported. Wine Spectator | 97 WS

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As low as $349.00
2019 roger sabon chateauneuf du pape le secret des sabon Chateauneuf du Pape

The tiny production 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Le Secret Des Sabon is a field blend of mostly Grenache brought up all in wooden tronconique barrels. It’s closest in style to the Prestige Cuvée yet brings another level of opulence and richness without losing any sense of elegance or class. Blackberries, peppery herbs, graphite, crushed violets, and a liquid rock-like minerality all define the nose, and it hits the palate with incredible depth of fruit, full-bodied richness, and ripe yet building tannins. While the acidity is technically quite low (the pH is 3.8), it holds onto an undeniable sense of freshness and purity. It is just a thrilling, magical wine from this estate. While young and unevolved, with 3-5 years of cellaring required, it is a modern-day legend capable of evolving for over two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDA top-notch effort, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape le Secret de Sabon—a blend of two old-vine Grenache parcels from sandier soils—offers up some floral and raspberry notes set against a dark backdrop of plums, mocha and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, dense and rich, it’s almost fudge-like in intensity, but with adequate freshness, a deeply plush texture and tremendous length on the finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPShimmering ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented black raspberry and cherry liqueur aromas are complemented by incense, licorice and potpourri flourishes. Juicy, sweet and impressively concentrated, offering palate-staining red/blue fruit, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Brawny yet surprisingly lithe as well, showing outstanding clarity and youthfully chewy tannins on the strikingly long, floral and spice-tinged finish.Vinous Media | 96 VMJuicy, dense and packed, yet remarkably defined, with a mix of plum and racy-edged blackberry, boysenberry and raspberry reduction flavors, all laced with a licorice snap thread. Black tea, garrigue and humus accents underscore the finish as the fruit sails through with aplomb. A beauty. Drink now through 2038. 125 cases made, 42 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSVery dark, powerful, slightly tarry and roasted with a very intense - almost too intense - acidity. Surprisingly dark for Grenache on sandy soils, extremely concentrated. A driving, focussed, mineral expression that will take some time to reach its peak. Long finish. 3,000 bottles made. Mostly grown on sand, fermented in stainless steel, then aged in tronconic wooden vats. Drinking Window 2022 - 2045.Decanter | 96 DEC

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As low as $189.00
2020 m. chapoutier ermitage le meal blanc Hermitage

I was blown away by the 2020 Ermitage Le Méal Blanc, which is certainly the finest vintage of this cuvée I’ve tasted. From the pure south-facing Méal lieu-dit (which is the warmest terroir on Hermitage), it was vinified and aged 70% demi-muids (10% new) and 30% in stainless steel. Straight-up heavenly notes of white currants, powdered rock, celery seed, honeysuckle, and toasted almonds all define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with that rare mix of richness and freshness. Hermitage Blanc doesn’t get any better. I love this today, yet it will certainly benefit from a year or two of bottle age, drink well for 3-5 years, at which point, it’s probably best to wait until a solid 15 years after the vintage.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThis relatively warm, early-ripening terroir has yielded a wine that’s full-bodied yet with an almost custard-like silky texture. Toasted grain, lemon custard, crushed stone, pear and melon notes mingle easily on the nose of Chapoutier’s 2020 Ermitage le Méal Blanc. The long, zesty finish is marked by a slight hint of bitterness that seems to come into this parcellaire from time to time.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPAlmond, quince and a touch of rhubarb at this early stage; you sense the ripeness, but it’s not exotically fruity in 2020. The silkiness and glycerol on the palate are quite present, this sample shows plentiful oak, lending matchstick and cashew to the finish. An elegant vintage of Le Méal. Well-balanced, far from massive, not as powerful or concentrated as the past few vintages, this will drink well young and age into the medium term. Not a hugely-long lived Méal I suspect, but a delightful one nonetheless. There is generous alcohol, but it’s not unbalanced. (Drink between 2023-2040)Decanter | 96 DEC

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As low as $199.00
2021 chateau la nerthe chateauneauf du pape blanc clos de beauvenir Rhone White
100
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As low as $149.00
2021 chateau la nerthe chateauneuf du pape blanc clos de beauvenir Rhone White

The 2021 Châteauneuf Du Pape Clos De Beauvenir Blanc is also incredible and, in this critic’s opinion, a perfect wine. Coming from a single vineyard just beside the estate and based largely on Roussanne, it has a slightly deeper gold hue as well as Montrachet-like richness in its notes of white currants, flower oil, pineapple, honeyed toast, and crushed stone. Rich, powerful, and concentrated on the palate, it nevertheless stays vibrant, fresh, and pure, with a gorgeous finish that just keeps going. It’s pure brilliance in Southern Rhône whites. I love it today with some air, but it should drink brilliantly for 7-8 years, then possibly go through a dormant stage, only to re-emerge at a later date. It’s unquestionably one of the finest whites from the region. Hats off to the team at La Nerthe for this incredible effort.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDSuper-fresh and so dynamic. A lovely brisk acidity propels the tangy lime fruit long into the finish. The oak is quite present but well judged and should integrate after a year or so in bottle. Impressive length and finesse. Parcel selection of old vines on sandy clay soil. Matured in demi-muid, with 15% new wood. Just 3,000 bottles produced.Decanter | 97 DECThe 2021 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Clos de Beauvenir is made from certified organic grapes and aged for 7 months in a combination of 85% demi-muids and 15% new oak barriques. It bursts with aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon peel, white peach, pineapple, melon, pastry, cedar and freshly-cut fennel. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied, vibrant and shows a lively core of fresh acidity. This 2021 white concludes with a bright finish and a modestly salty aftertaste.Vinous Media | 94 VMBold and exuberant, with good definition to the white peach, quince and fresh melon notes and hint of ginger. Offers a thread of shortbread that adds richness to the round, lush palate, which is deftly offset by stony minerality and savory green herbs on the lengthy finish. Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Drink now through 2027. 20 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WSA 70-30 blend of Roussanne and Grenache, the 2021 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Clos de Beauvenir offers up scents of struck flint, citrus zest and white peaches. Medium-bodied, this largely barrel fermented effort is focused and linear in shape, finishing with ample freshness and length.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP

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As low as $149.00

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