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Made from 100% Merlot, the 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and gorgeous nose of black plums, warm blueberries and mocha with touches of anise, red roses and spice box. Medium to full-bodied and densely packed with layers of blue and black fruits and perfumed notions, it has a firm yet plush backbone to support and a very long, layered finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPSaturated ruby-red. Brooding, medicinal scents of dark cherry, menthol and licorice. Boasts outstanding breadth and density of material, with its expressive flavors of black cherry, dark berries, spices and bitter chocolate complicated by salty minerality and lifted by a subtle floral quality. This distinctly soil-driven wine is showing more personality today than the ’16 and should reach its plane of peak drinkability earlier. And yet my sample tightened up in the glass to show a rather powerful tannic spine. (14.4% alcohol; 100% Merlot; from fruit harvested three weeks earlier than in 2016; 88% new French, 3% new Hungarian and 9% second-fill French)Vinous Media | 96 VMThe 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve is a textbook expression of Merlot and it has a pretty, yet sexy style to go with lots of blue fruits, violets, leafy herbs and graphite aromas and flavors. Like all the 2015s from this estate, it has sensational purity of fruit, is impeccably balanced, and has ultra-fine tannin. Drink this terrific 2015 anytime over the coming two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDA juicy and rich red with dark berries, hazelnuts and chocolate. Some tile, too. Full and juicy with lots of fruit. Hints of salt, crushed stones and oyster shell. A pure merlot this year. Layered and juicy. Drink in 2020.James Suckling | 94 JS
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is sourced from choice blocks on the Groth family’s Oakville property. A gorgeous, classically built wine, the Reserve is just fabulous today. Dark red-toned fruit, cedar, spice and mocha lend considerable energy as the 2018 gradually opens in the glass. I would be in no rush here.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThis has the vivid, driven cassis, boysenberry and blackberry fruit of the vintage, but it’s well-harnessed, with streaks of racy anise, alder and sweet bay leaf providing focus and precision. There’s a long echo of iron and savory through the finish as the fruit lingers, leaving a mouthwatering feel. Understated in style compared with its colleagues, but no less complex. Best from 2022 through 2038. 2,400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSAromas of ripe blackberries, blueberries, plums, earth, lavender and bark. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Balanced and juicy with a caressing texture and a bright core of spiced fruit. Elegant. Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JSHigh floral intensity with soft mellow plums and cherries, hints of earthy nuances. Soft profile with layers of sweet spices and a herbal finish. (Drink between 2022-2035)Decanter | 91 DEC
The 2019 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée looks set to rival the best examples of this bottling. Made up of approximately 80% Grenache, with 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre and smaller amounts of other permitted varieties, it’s impressively complex on the nose, with scents of black cherries, blackberries and black olives, plus mysterious wafts of violets and garrigue. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it finishes long and velvety, a sure-fire bet for cellaring.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95-97 RPThis youthful Chateauneuf has a very complex nose of graphite, raw meat and lilies. With aeration the black-cherry note steadily grows in intensity. Bold, leathery and earthy palate with fine tannins that build steadily on at the extremely long and straight mineral finish. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Réservée was hard to read and incredibly reductive, which is a trait I’ve never seen from this estate. Black fruits, licorice, and roasted garrigue are all present in this medium to full-bodied, structured, tannic, firm wine. It’s a head scratcher, but hopefully I’ll be able to taste this again next year before it’s released. Given the quality of the vintage, it should be better than this showing.Jeb Dunnuck | 91-94 JD
The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Réserve Auguste Favier is based on 85% Grenache and 15% Cinsault, all from the Les Serres lieu-dit, and was brought up all in demi-muids. Black raspberries, spring flowers, pepper, and loamy earth and mineral nuances all make an appearance here, and this flawlessly balanced, medium to full-bodied Châteauneuf du Pape has incredible finesse and elegance while still bringing beautiful richness and length. It’s not the biggest, richest wine in the vintage, but it shines for its complexity and seamlessness. It’s pure class.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDOpaque garnet. Expressive cherry, black raspberry and incense aromas are complemented by building floral and exotic spice nuances. Sappy, seamless and penetrating in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet red and dark berry liqueur and candied lavender flavors that deepen as the wine open up. Shows resonating red fruit character on the wonderfully persistent, floral-driven finish, which is framed by polished, interwoven tannins.Vinous Media | 96 VMMatured in demi-muids, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier is 85% Grenache and 15% Cinsault. Offering up a panoply of floral, spice and herb shadings, it backs those with scents of raspberries and black cherries and just subtle notes of toast and pencil shavings. Full-bodied on the palate, it’s also silky in feel, with a long, mouthwatering finish and just a touch of friendly warmth. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThis has a seriously endowed and remarkably pure core of cassis and cherry purée, underscored by light leather, red licorice and violet notes that emerge steadily as they move through the silky finish. Power and grace. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. Best from 2023 through 2036. 7,920 cases made, 660 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSDeep and concentrated, flowing, but with a good sense of fruit freshness and liveliness on the palate. A big wine, that, like many of us, put on a bit of weight over lockdown! Grown on galets roulés on lieu-dit Les Serres, fermented in concrete, aged in demi-muid. Drinking Window 2021 - 2026.Decanter | 92 DEC
A fine straw-gold colour with great finesse of bubble flow and mousse. Joyful aromas of apple blossom and ripe pear. A full, defined palate demonstrates richness that will help to give this a long life in the cellar.Decanter | 95 DEC(NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV (2008 Release)) This particular bottle of Brut Réserve had been in my cellar since 2008, and it has aged beautifully and was drinking very well when opened this past spring. The excellent nose wafts from the glass in a mélange of apple, peach, warm bread, a touch of ginger, a lovely base of soil and plenty of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bdoied, complex and still rock solid at the core, with fine mousse, bright acids and lovely length and grip on the wide open, complex and classy finish. This particular release of Brut Réserve had been particularly steely out of the blocks, which is why I tucked some away to see how it evolved with bottle age. Yet again, a pretty strong argument for treating non-vintage Brut bottlings like other fine wines and cellar them for some time before starting to drink them! (Drink between 2014-2025).John Gilman | 92 JGA harmonious Champagne that’s satiny in texture, framing flavors of Asian pear, star fruit, pastry and honey with mouthwatering acidity. Offers a fine and creamy finish. Drink now through 2021.Wine Spectator | 91 WSPlenty of ripe strawberries and wild raspberries on the nose here. Really attractive and vibrant in the mouth with fresh wild strawberries. It also shows a fleshy, fresh-fruit texture. Drink now.James Suckling | 91 JSBased on the 2015 vintage and disgorged with nine grams per liter dosage, the latest release of Billecart’s NV Brut Réserve contains fully 55% reserve wines and is showing very well, offering up complex aromas of warm bread, crisp green orchard fruit and citrus oil. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied and charming but lively, with an elegantly textural attack, a fleshy core of fruit and lively balancing acids.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP(40% pinot meunier, 30% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay; L200352): Light, bright gold. Fresh red berries, orange zest and white flowers on the perfumed nose. Juicy and precise, offering energetic redcurrant and blood orange flavors that show good concentration and a supple texture. A mineral nuance adds bite to the finish, with the floral note echoing.Vinous Media | 90 VMThis producer’s nonvintage cuvée showcases a blend of grapes from all the regions of Champagne. Rich with white stone fruit, it balances ripe acidity and a taut texture. This complex wine is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE
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