Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2018
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
|Brand||Domaine Raymond Usseglio|
Three parcels, one in Pialons, one in Girardette, and one in Grand Pierre, 110+ year old vines as they were all planted 1901 and 1902. Field blend of 90+% Grenache and the balance the other 12 varietals. Aged 100% in concrete tanks from miniscule yields (average 15hl/ha) is Burgundian-like for its floral minerality and complexity on the palate.
Robert Parker 97 Points "Most of the vines for the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale were planted in 1902, mainly Grenache, with a few other scattered plants of other varieties. Full-bodied and concentrated, it boasts massive flavors of raspberries and cherries, with just enough herbal intricacies woven into the fabric of the wine to impart a sense of lightness and freshness—it positively tingles on the long, long finish. Produced from biodynamically grown fruit at yields just half the maximum permitted by the appellation (16–18 hectoliters per hectare, versus 35), it's a tremendous effort."
A forward, charming example of this cuvee, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Imperiale is almost all old vine Grenache that was brought up in concrete tanks. It offers a ruby/purple hue as well as a beautiful perfume of raspberries, candied violets, peppery spices, and flowery incense. With medium to full-bodied richness, an elegant texture, the more moderate concentration and depth of the vintage, and outstanding length, drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-12 years.