“A more reductive, meaty, backward effort than normal, the 2018 Saint Joseph Les Granits is all Syrah that comes from unquestionably one of the top terroirs in Saint-Joseph. It was vinified in concrete tanks and aged in a mix of barrels and demi-muids, 20% being new. It blossoms with air and reveals an almost Hermitage-like class and minerality, with killer crème de cassis and black raspberry fruits supported by loads of smoked game, saddle leather, crushed stone, barbecue smoke, garrigue, and violet-like aromas and flavors. Just incredible on the palate as well, with medium to full-bodied richness, awesome tannins, and a liquid rock-like minerality, this tour de force from Saint-Joseph ranks with the finest vintage of this cuvée ever made and matches the 2015, although it shows a very different style. It should be snatched up by readers. It will need 3-5 years of bottle age and will drink brilliantly over the following 20 years or more.”
Wine Spectator: Straight Talk with Michel Chapoutier
Michel Chapoutier was featured on Wine Spectator’s “Straight Talk” series on Instagram Live. James Molesworth interviewed the Rhône vintner about his early days in California, the adaptability of grape vines, André Tchelistcheff, and more.
Jeb Dunnuck awarded 99 points to Le Clos Saint-Joseph 2017.
“From a higher, east-facing vineyard, the 2017 Saint-Joseph Le Clos is almost black and is the most concentrated, powerful Saint Joseph in the vintage. Blackcurrants, cassis, kirsch, ground herbs, beef blood, burning embers, and new leather notes all emerge from this beast of a Saint Joseph that has incredible depth and richness, an Hermitage-like power and opulence, and a great finish. Give bottles 3-4 years and it should evolve gracefully for two decades. There are a tiny 228 cases produced.”
Vinous: 94 Points for Le Clos Rouge Saint-Joseph 2017
Vinous awarded 94 points to Le Clos Saint-Joseph 2017.
“Deep, dark ruby. Smoke- and mineral-accented black and blue fruits, licorice and potpourri on the intensely perfumed nose. Plush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering sweet blackberry, cassis, cola and exotic spice flavors underscored by a core of juicy acidity. Shows superb depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and supple, with rounded tannins that build steadily and add shape and gentle grip to the wine’s vibrant dark fruit.”
– Josh Raynolds
Wine Spectator: 94 Points for Le Clos Rouge Saint-Joseph 2017
Wine Spectator awarded 94 points to Le Clos Saint-Joseph 2017.
“This shows a mix of pepper, mesquite and bay leaf notes out front, followed by a core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit. Ends with dark humus details through the finish, giving this an old-school feel. Drink now through 2028.”
– James Molesworth
Jeb Dunnuck: 96+ Points for Croix de Bois Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017
Jeb Dunnuck awarded 96+ points to Croix de Bois Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017.
“More blackberry, blueberry, violets, ground pepper, and flowers emerge from the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Croix De Bois, which is also all Grenache brought up in concrete. It’s full-bodied, deep, seriously concentrated, has ample tannins, and a huge finish. This is another brilliant Grenache from Chapoutier that delivers everything you could want from the variety. Surprisingly, it’s less approachable than the Barbe Rac (which is normally the more structured wine) and will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age.”
Robert Parker: 94 Points for Croix de Bois Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017
Robert Parker Wine Advocate awarded 94 points to Croix de Bois Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017.
“Another 100% Grenache CdP, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois hints at garrigue on the nose, then eases into a dense, compact ball of dark fruit. Concentrated and tannic, this looks as if it will need five years or more to slowly unfurl its dense layers of dark berries, black olives, licorice and tea.”
– Joe Czerwinski
Robert Parker: 96 Points for Barbe Rac Rouge Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017
Robert Parker Wine Advocate awarded 96 points to Barbe Rac Rouge Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017.
“Produced from yields of just 15 hectoliters per hectare, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac is a powerful, 100% Grenache wine raised in concrete. It’s a big, full-bodied beauty, loaded with scents of kirsch and framboise, stuffed with ripe tannins and with a finish that lasts for several minutes. Give it 5 years in the cellar and drink it over the next decade or so.”
– Joe Czerwinski
Jeb Dunnuck awarded 96-98 points to Barbe Rac Rouge Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2018.
“From decimated yields of 0.4 tons per acre, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Barbe Rac (100% Grenache brought up all in concrete) shows beautiful purity of fruit, notes of blueberries, wild strawberries, ground pepper, and crushed violets, brilliant concentration, and fine, building tannins. It’s a remarkable effort in the vintage that has more depth and concentration than just about every other wine out there. It’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 15 years in more in cool cellars.”
Jeb Dunnuck awarded 97 points to Barbe Rac Rouge Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2017
“The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Barbe Rac is brilliant and up there with some of the finest vintages to date of this cuvée. Based all on Grenache from a single lieu-dit in the southwest of the appellation called the Barbe d’Asne and brought up in concrete tanks, it offers up a gorgeous nose of kirsch liqueur, ground pepper, garrigue, and graphite. Deep, rich, and powerful on the palate, with tons of sweet fruit, it needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades or more.”