Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf du Pape 2018
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
|Brand||Domaine Raymond Usseglio|
Stéphane Usseglio, son of Raymond, has taken over the Domaine in the last few years, and he with his oenologist Xavier Vignon, is pushing to reach the potential of the family’s holdings, some of the best of Châteauneuf. Half his vines are situated near the road in the lieu-dit “La Crau” and the other half on the hill across the road from the actual ruins of the new castle of the Pope. He has the good fortune to have very old vines. The average age for his Châteauneuf vines is between 50 & 60 years old, and the cuvée Imperiale is 100-year old vines. We are now taking all of the Roussanne pur that he can vinify for us. Considered one of the top producers in the appellation, Usseglio puts out consistently stellar wine every vintage. Peter Weygandt's requested unfiltered blend of about 90% Grenache (30% 115 year old vines, 70% average 50 years), 4% Mourvèdre, 4%Syrah, 2% Cinsault and 2% Counoise. A Chateauneuf that one can drink young, or 7 to 10 years.
Robert Parker 94 Points A special cuvée made for American importer Peter Weygandt, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard includes a bit more old-vine Grenache, and it shows in the wine's increased elegance. It's more floral than the regular bottling, with scents of tea and roses, but it's also darker and richer, with black cherry fruit, a velvety mouthfeel and a long, layered finish.
A custom cuvée put together by their importer, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Girard from Raymond Usseglio generally includes slightly more Mourvèdre but, by and large, normally tracks the base cuvée pretty closely. Deep ruby/purple, with a meaty, powerful bouquet of black raspberries, ground pepper, cured meats, and flowery garrigue, this beauty is medium to full-bodied and has a wonderful, supple mouthfeel, silky tannins and a great finish. I actually like it a little more than the base cuvée, but it should age similarly, with a solid 10-12 years or more of prime drinking.
Saturated garnet. Spice-accented red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by floral and smoky mineral flourishes. Appealingly sweet and velvety in the mouth, offering juicy raspberry, cherry liqueur and baking spice flavors and a hint of white pepper. Finishes supple and long, with repeating floral and spice notes and even tannins that add shape and gentle grip.