domaine isabel ferrando, chateauneuf-du-pape, colombis 2016
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 100% Grenache 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Colombis is sourced from three different lieux-dits, each of which has sandy soils. In addition, the vines are all at least 60 years old. Matured in demi-muids, this beautiful wine features enthralling aromas of crushed stone, rose petals and ripe raspberries. Full-bodied and concentrated, the texture comes across as something weightless yet between silk and velvet, laced with exotic spices and lingering for minutes on the finish. It's another stunning example of Grenache from sand terroirs, and it's actually underpriced relative to its quality. Grab it while you can! - Joe Czerwinski
Transparent ruby in colour, with a lovely lifted scent of raspberry, wild strawberry, and some garrigue herbs in the background. Medium-bodied with good length, great purity and freshness. Yes, it's Châteauneuf, but an idiosyncratic style - light, pure and fresh with a very pretty and vivid fruit expression. Very drinkable. Certified organic.
A spitting image of the heavenly 2007, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Colombis is a huge, opulent Grenache that delivers everything you could want from this variety. Layers of kirsch liqueur, garrigue, licorice, and herbes de Provence just cascade over the palate. This literal bomb of a wine is full-bodied, concentrated, and layered, yet like all truly great wines, it remains pure, balanced and graceful, with no sense of heaviness. It will most likely merit a triple-digit score in another 2-3 years and will keep for another 10-15 years, but why wait? Proprietress Isabel Ferrando has taken her Saint Prefert estate to France’s highest level, and she’s unquestionably making some of the most profound wines on earth today, including both reds and whites. The estate is located in the southern portion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and covers roughly 55 acres, from which she releases five cuvées: two whites and three reds. Looking at the reds, the classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape is always a rough blend of 90% Grenache (from 70-year-old vines) and the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre aged in demi-muids and smaller barrels. The Reserve Auguste Favier comes from 60- to 100-year-old vines and is based largely on Grenache with around 15% Cinsault, aged all in older barrels. This cuvée always shows a seamless, elegant profile. Lastly, and what I would consider her top wine, the Collection Charles Giraud is always a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the Grenache aged in tank and the Mourvèdre.
This is warm and very alluring, featuring steeped plum, blackberry and fig fruit flavors forming the core, underscored with ganache, roasted alder and smoldering tobacco notes. The alder edge pierces the finish, adding length and drive, while mouthwatering acidity ripples all around. Best from 2020 through 2035. — J.M.