Domaine Raymond Usseglio Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale 2019
- Rich, full-bodied
This is an absolute WOW wine from cult biodynamic Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer, Raymond Usseglio - CNP lovers rejoice! This is their flagship wine, sourced from three vineyards (in Pialons, Girardette and Grand Pierre) with vines planted in 1901 and 1902.
Raymond has been at the helm since 1999, having had the reins passed to him from his father, who kicked things off in 1948. His wines have a lovely chinotto, orange peel and molasses theme that ties them together, as well as a certain suavity and collectedness. Black and red fruit chorus of course, but it’s more than that. Jeb Dunnuck recognised its future potential, giving it a massive 98 points on tasting before it was even bottled, expecting it to reach perfection with nothing more than a little patience. It’s lovely now, but you’d need a rare steak. No complaints here. Some shared over dinner now, some in ten or twenty years time.
“Coming all from very old vine Grenache and brought up in tank, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Imperiale offers a smoking bouquet of vivid black raspberry and cassis intermixed with lots of flowery incense, licorice, and spring flowers. Reminding me of a Grand Cru Red Burgundy on the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a vibrant, tight, focused texture, polished tannins, and beautifully integrated acidity. It’s one classy Châteauneuf du Pape that will evolve for two decades.”
Full price $200.00 from the producer.
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- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 90% Grenache 10% Syrah
- Serving Temp.
My sister Nicci calls these "puddingstone wines", because the vines are literally grown on soils lightly covering giant boulders roughly translated as "pudding stones". Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a rich history, and the reds (usually grenache-predominant) can be a blend of up to 13 grape varieties, including some cheeky whites to round out the mix. The resultant wines are complex, brooding but usually not giant, and delicious. Especially if you call them puddingstone wines.