Domaine Vielle Julienne Chateauneuf Du Pape Reserve 2015
Located in the northern end of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, in sector known as Le Grès. Since 1990, when Jean-Paul Daumen took over from his father, the rise in quality of wine from this domaine has been breathtaking. There are now 32 hectares of vineyards, and the average age of the vines is high at around 50 years.
The Châteauneuf is typically a blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (15%), Mourvèdre (10%), Counoise (10%) and Cinsault (5%). Jean Paul has adopted a thoroughly modern approach to winemaking with the entire crop now being destemmed and each of the separate grape varieties are vinified separately. The large oak foudres have been replaced with small oak barrels although Jean-Paul believes in "emphasising the fruit and the balance more than the wood". All his wines are bottled without filtration.
The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve it unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage. Offering incredible spice, violets, roasted meats, black licorice, cassis and incense, this full-bodied beauty is as ethereal and elegant as they come, yet packs huge amounts of intensity, depth, and length in its perfectly balanced personality. Possessing ultra-fine tannin, a layered mid-palate and a great finish, it’s surprisingly already accessible but will cruise for two decades given its balance and purity. I can’t think of another vintage from Jean-Paul that shows this style of elegance and finesse. 98 points Jeb Dunnuck