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I love the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes, and it's the most balanced and complete of this estate's 2015s. Garrigue, kirsch, spice, dried earth and garrigue nuances all flow to a full-bodied, supple, beautifully textured red that has classic aromas and flavors, polished, elegant tannin and a great finish. It's approachable today, yet will be even better with short-term cellaring and drink well for a decade or more. The 2015 is 86% Grenache and 7% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah, from 80-90-year-old vines, fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged in foudre (60%), demi-muids (30%) and concrete tanks (10%).
The old vine cuvée is the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes and is a non-destemmed blend of 90% Grenache and 5% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. Aged in foudre and demi-muids, it offers textbook notes of black raspberries, kirsch, garrigue, pepper and leafy herbs, as well as full-bodied richness, ripe, polished tannin and a great finish. I’ve found this cuvée to be a touch rustic in the past, but recent vintages show another level of purity, elegance and finesse. Range: 93-95
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