2016 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Chateauneuf-du-Pape les Hauts-Lieux

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Vinous Media: 95
Jeb Dunnuck: 99
Jeff Leve: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.5%
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"Intense, featuring a hefty core of dark currant, fig and blackberry confiture flavors, meshed with bittersweet cocoa, smoldering tobacco and warm earth notes. Tarry grip supports the finish, while a mouthwatering garrigue streak drives through. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Best from 2022 through 2040. 1,000 cases made, 300 cases imported. -JM" (WS)

"Brilliant ruby-red. A highly perfumed bouquet features fresh, mineral-tinged red berry liqueur, lavender and incense scents, and mineral and Asian spice flourishes add complexity. Pliant and seamless on the palate, showing a superb blend of density and energy to the sweet Chambord, cherry, floral pastille and spicecake flavors. Fine-grained, building tannins give shape to the strikingly long, vibrant finish, which emphatically echoes the red fruit and floral notes." (VM)

"A true “wow” wine, the deep, concentrated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Hauts-Lieux (there's 20% Mourvèdre) offers awesome notes of blackcurrants, smoked meats, graphite, crushed rocks, and licorice. Extraordinarily concentrated, perfectly balanced, structured, and long, it's another sensational wine from this estate. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will cruise for 15-20 after that.

Vieille Julienne’s Jean-Paul Daumen is unquestionably one of the most talented winemakers in all of France. Since taking over the domaine in 1990, the estate has gone from strength to strength, and the list of truly extraordinary wines from this small terroir located on the northern edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is mind-boggling. And there are no secrets; Jean-Paul focuses first and foremost on his vineyards, which are all farmed organically and sustainably, minuscule yields, no SO2 during vinification, aging in neutral foudres and tank, and bottling unfined and unfiltered. The result is a naked, raw expression of this magical terroir and old vines. Speaking about the 2016 vintage, Jean-Paul called it an enormous vintage, comparing it to 2001 yet with a style all its own, and commented that the wines were powerful yet also delicate. I can’t disagree, and the Châteauneuf-du-Papes across the board are monumental wines. You don’t have to splurge for the Reserve cuvée either, since the Les Trois Sources and Haut-Lieux releases are both extraordinary wines. I’ve also included the Daumen releases here, which can be thought of as super-negociant wines where Jean-Paul is directly involved with all aspects of the vineyards and winemaking. In short, there are few wines I’d rather have on my table than those from Jean-Paul Daumen!" (JD)

"Deep in color, the wine is floral with licorice, black cherry, wet earth, spice, animal, herbs and a hint of the clay and rocks. The wine meshes power with elegance. It's difficult to pair refinement and power, but that's what you find here. The finish blends licorice, pepper, dark, red pit fruits and sensuous textures that build with intensity. This is just great wine! The wine was produced from a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Counouise. 2402 Views Tasted Sep 15, 2018" (JL)