2012 and 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras (Jan 2014)

(60% grenache and 40% mourvedre): Inky ruby. Heady aromas of red fruit liqueur, lavender, sandalwood and cola, with a smoky mineral topnote. Picks up a darker fruit character with air, showing superb concentration and spicy lift. The floral and cola notes come back strong on the finish, which is framed by smooth, sweet, harmonious tannins. This sexy Chateauneuf was one of the most impressive ’11s that I tasted from the southern Rhone this year.