Issued from 97-year old vines, this treasure from sisters Sophie Estevenin-Armenier and Catherine Armenier may well be the wine of the vintage in Châteauneuf in 2015. If you crave the absolute, soaring essence of ancient-vine Grenache, you must own this wine. This was the single highest-rated wine in Vinous for this vintage; Josh Raynolds said "I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this monumental wine turn out to be the star of the 2015 vintage in the Rhône Valley, south as well as north."
The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (about 97% Grenache) was entirely destemmed. According to Sophie Armenier, its alcohol level is a whopping 16+%, but it was completely concealed by the wine's intricate spice complexities. Licorice, cola, cinnamon, clove and allspice all interweave with cherries to form a silky web that glides across the palate and into a long, long finish.
(fermented in concrete vats and then aged in concrete and neutral oak barrels) Lurid ruby. A heady, expressive bouquet evokes fresh raspberry, cherry compote, potpourri, licorice and Asian spices, while a bright mineral flourish builds in the glass. Sweet, palate-staining red fruit liqueur, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors show outstanding depth as well as vivacity thanks to a core of juicy acidity. Plays power off finesse with a deft hand and finishes incredibly long, sappy and pure; velvety tannins emerge very slowly. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this monumental wine turn out to be the star of the 2015 vintage in the Rhône Valley, south as well as north.