2016 Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 97
Vinous Media: 93-95
Jeb Dunnuck: 96+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.5%
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"This has a lovely feel, with a silky but persistent structure allowing a range of creamed raspberry, damson plum and boysenberry fruit flavors to glide through, while light rooibos tea, sandalwood and anise accents chime throughout. Shows pretty floral lift at the end. Best from 2020 through 2036. -J.M." (WS)

"The all whole-bunch 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes is 85% Grenache, with the balance a mix of Mourvèdre and Syrah. The vines are all 80 to 90 years old, selected from parcels in Brusquières, Gardiole, Mont-Redon and Pignan. Glorious raspberry and cherry fruit picks up hints of mint and some stemmy notes, but they're remarkably well-integrated and should be completely absorbed within a couple of years. Full-bodied, rich and creamy in texture, this tour de force remains lively, silky and long on the finish. With 1,000 cases produced, it should be reasonably priced and reasonably available-an increasingly rare combination in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

At Bosquet des Papes, I tasted with the larger-than-life, fifth-generation owner, Nicolas Boiron. Standing out for his size and outgoing personality, he's a true character, not afraid to speak his mind. The Boiron family farms 27 hectares in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and five hectares in Côtes du Rhône, sold under the Domaine Nicolas Boiron label. Philippe Cambie has been a consultant since 2005. Boiron said 2017 is a very good year but with lower quantity. "There's more structure than in 2016," he said. The wines here seem to be going from strength to strength, with quality inching up nearly every vintage and prices still reasonable given the fairly large volumes involved. This is a property to buy from before pricing jumps." (WA)

"Deep ruby. Mineral-accented cherry, blackberry and licorice scents pick up a suave incense nuance as the wine opens up. Juicy and expansive on the palate, offering bitter cherry, black raspberry and floral pastille flavors that are firmed and lifted by a spine of tangy acidity. Fleshes out and deepens with air and finishes impressively long and smooth, displaying harmonious tannins and a late suggestion of candied lavender." (VM)

"The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes is much more classic in style when compared to the La Gloire de Mon Grand-Père. It’s a non-destemmed blend of 86% Grenache and the balance equal parts Mourvèdre and Syrah, aged in a mix of foudre, concrete tanks, and demi-muids. Classic notes of black fruits, smoked herbs, seaweed, licorice, and pepper as well tons of minerality all emerge from this powerful, full-bodied, structured 2016 that has the purity of fruit and balance that’s the hallmark of this great, great vintage. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades." (JD)