2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L)
"While the domaine of Raymond Usseglio has sat in the shadow of Domaine Pierre Usseglio in the past, that is changing under the helm of the young Stéphane Usseglio and the estate is making singular, world-class wines today. They have a new state of the art cellar located on the northern edge of the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and pull from around 45 acres of vines, mostly in the center and northern part of the appellation...Bottom line, the estate is making beautiful wines." - JD
The base of the Cuvée Imperiale is tank-aged old vine Grenache (110+ years, 80-90% Grenache and the balance Mourvèdre). The Cuvee Girard is about 85% Grenache with Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault filling out the blend - 80 year old vines. All their vines are biodynamically farmed.
"The flagship is the Grenache-dominated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale, which comes from vines planted in 1902 and was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. Awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, violets, and graphite all emerge from this tight, full-bodied, concentrated and backward Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Possessing incredible purity of fruit, a concentrated yet fresh, structured profile, and a huge finish, it just needs time to shine. 97+ points" Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018)