Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf du Pape la Cuvée du Papet 2018
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
|Brand||Clos du Mont-Olivet|
This is solid, with a still-tight core of black cherry and dark plum fruit liberally laced with warm stone, garrigue, tar and alder notes. Plenty grippy, with a smoldering tobacco accent through the finish. Best from 2022 through 2035.
The old vine cuvée is the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Du Papet, which sees more stems and is brought up in foudre. It has a similar purity of fruit compared to the classic cuvée, yet it shows slightly more stem influence in its ground pepper, crushed violets, earth, and obvious mineral-driven aromas and flavors. It's rich and flawlessly balanced, with ripe, present tannins and a great finish. It's going to need a year or three of bottle age (it's far from unapproachable, however) and will keep for 15-20 years or more.
Bright ruby. Heady, mineral- and spice-accented aromas of ripe red berries, incense and lavender are complemented by a smoky mineral nuance that builds as the wine opens up. Palate-staining raspberry and cherry liqueur, spice cake and floral pastille flavors pick up deeper licorice and cola notes on the back half. Conveys an appealing blend of richness and energy and closes with fine clarity, well-knit tannins and strong, spicy persistence. Drinking window: 2024 - 2034
Decadently ripe, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape combines hints of garrigue, raspberries, black cherries and dark chocolate on the nose. In the mouth, it's full-bodied, plush and creamy textured without coming across as heavy, finishing supple and long. While some may find it over the top, for me, it retains a sense of balance in the tension between the sense of ripeness and its delicate herbal nuances. It won't be terribly long-lived but should drink at its delicious best over the next 6–8 years.