2017 Bosquet des Papes Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes (750ml)

Grenache from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

B-21 Top Recommendation
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On a serious roll, Bosquet des Papes is ascending quickly to become among the top properties in Chateauneuf, with the guiding hand of consultant Philippe Cambie. With 2017 rivaling the best ever here (some would argue 2016) it is likely, lamentably, to become much more difficult to maintain our allocations for you as world-wide demand intensifies. With one of the wines "a candidate for perfection" according to Wine Advocate's Joe Czerwinski, there is interest.

The pure Grenache cuvee, which honors current winemaker Nicolas Boiron's predecessor, is grown in the Gardiole lieu-dit (sandy soils; which seem to produce a lot of my favorites) and fermented 50% whole cluster, Nicolas Boiron and family introduced this mind-bending offering in 1998. Parker has consistently lauded the wine, rendering the tiny production all the more difficult to acquire. Moreover, Jeb Dunnuck routinely pegs it as a "Best of Chateauneuf" selection in his annual reports.

Another top performer, easily discernable from the aforementioned à la Gloire de mon Grand Père cuvee as leaning towards the "traditional" spectrum, is the extremely old vine cuvee of Chante le Merle. This whole cluster beauty ever so slightly tames the pure Grenache with 5% Syrah as well as 5% Mourvedre. Aging the wine "old school," Nicolas incorporates foudres and demi-muids which allows for more contact of the fermenting solids while avoiding spiciness from barrique aging. This is classic stuff that we old-timers really dig. It pairs beautifully with Grand Père, showcasing Nicolas' styles and varying abilities with Grenache.

Finally – a definite don't miss for value lovers – the Traditional Cuvee is another classic. Old school to the bone, it drinks early and lasts for years. Doesn't require a lot of fanfare either, it's just good ol' fashion, drink me now CDP.

97WA

Bottled three weeks before my visit, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes is nevertheless impressive. Black raspberries are accented by hints of blood orange, cocoa and anise on the nose. Full-bodied, rich and packed with material, it's long and velvety on the finish, picking up notes of salted licorice. It's a terrific, age-worthy effort that should still be drinking well in 2035.

97 points, Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Issue # 244 - Aug 2019)

Alcohol By Volume: 15.5%
#FRBOCP17CE

$64.99
This item is a pre-order estimated to arrive 08/17/20. 60+ bottles available.

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