Enormous potential. The balance impresses, even confuses… ! Only drawback, the yields are tiny : very limited quantities indeed…
The vintage

If we look at the half empty glass - or tank -, frustration, and even sadness, will overwhelm us : historically small yields in France. The lowest of the post-war years. Cellars are empty. Clearly, one has to state that climate hazards, methodically, worked against us this year, in a succession of definitely adverse events : an abnormally cool spring caused frost, then grape shatter, on all of Rhone cépages, and, more particularly, Grenache. This cruel Spring followed up on a dauntingly dry summer… In the end, the yields in juice are tragically affected. The Wine grower’s job becomes tightrope walker’s job… without a net. These realities being called to mind, if we now look at the half full glass - and it is our nature to be optimistic -, the words which will come to me are relief, and even… enthusiasm ! These very challenging conditions indeed gave birth to first juices of so brilliant a Quality as they do better than just console us : they succeed in enticing, the Vignerons and us… !
The vines had naturally little load : they reacted magnificently to the extreme conditions of the year. The plant was able to bring its fruit to maturity, without big constraint, in an optimal way. The Wines promise to be splendidly well-balanced !
Year climatically unbalanced, but Cuvées showing balance… the Bourgogne way ! This, by the grace of Old Grenache, which brought to the highest level the singular personality of the real Rhone Wine. Wines are scented, refined...

Terroir

La Crau, Les Gardioles, La Janasse,
Coste Froide, Bois Dauphin

Maturing

12 months in one vintage old barrels. Allier and Tronçais. Then 12 months in foudre.

Vinification

1/3 non destemmed.

Serving

14°C
Decant 2 hours before tasting.

Tasting notes

Enormous potential. The balance impresses, even confuses… !
Only drawback, the yields are tiny : very limited quantities indeed…

Alcohol content

14,5%

Mise en bouteille

Without fining and filtration.

Cépages

Grenache noir : 80 %
Mourvèdre : 10 %
Syrah : 10 %

La Revue du Vin de France , 18/20 , 2019-08-31

Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France , 18,5/20 , 2019-08-31

A blend of 70% Grenache, 27% Mourvèdre and 3% other varieties, mostly from galets roulés, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes features dark notes of leather, dried spices, plum and cola. It's full-bodied, rich and concentrated but a bit monolithic, with a long, velvety finish. It should drink well for a decade or more.

Wine Advocate , 91-93/100 , 2019-08-31

Deep crimson. Rich and heady and loosely corseted, but with some savoury aromas that keep it interesting. Big and almost ballsy but with saline notes and some transparency and interest. Drying finish.

Jancis Robinson , 17/20 , 2018-10-22

Deeper and richer, the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, all from rolled stone terroirs and made with plenty of stems. Blackberries, ground herbs, graphite, and spring flower notes all develop beautifully with time in the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced. The stems are beautifully integrated and it has terrific mid-palate depth. It will benefit from short-term cellaring.

Jeb Dunnuck , 92-95/100 , 2018-08-28