E. Guigal Châteauneuf du Pape 2015
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
This bottling from Guigal punches above its weight class with penetrating dried-cherry and raspberry flavors accented by smoke, char, earth and leather. Unctuously full bodied and edged by a rasp of drying tannins, it's a hedonistic but structured wine that should improve through 2030.
Shimmering magenta. Highly perfumed aromas of mineral-tinged red berry liqueur, incense and cola, along with a suave potpourri nuance. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy raspberry, cherry, spicecake and candied licorice flavors supported by an undercurrent of zesty acidity. Closes very long and spicy, with excellent clarity, sneaky tannins and a sexy hint of florality.
Consumers who want a bit more oomph than the 2014 offers will want to seek out Guigal's 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, which is a ripe, full-bodied example of the appellation. Bottled just a week before I tasted it, it was somewhat closed on the nose but is wonderfully velvety and rich, with plenty of dark fruit flavors, accented by dried spices on the long finish.
Distinctive, with singed mesquite and alder notes leading off, giving this a woodsy profile, balanced by an ample core of steeped raspberry and bitter plum fruit, along with tobacco, sandalwood and rooibos tea hints. The mesquite-alder edge lingers on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2028. 11,667 cases made, 3,500 cases imported.
In a completely different style, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is more Grenache-dominated and has a great nose of garrigue, pepper, and sweet red and black fruits. Nicely balanced, complex, and medium to full-bodied, is shows the straighter, classic style of the vintage and will drink nicely for another 10-15 years.