Bosquet des Papes Chante Le Merle Vielles Vignes 2016
A recent hit of our yearly high end wine tasting, the 2016 Chante Le Merle leaps out of the glass. This is certainly a wine to buy by the case and watch evolve over the years. From the experts....
2020 - 2040
The all whole-bunch 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes is 85% Grenache, with the balance a mix of Mourvèdre and Syrah. The vines are all 80 to 90 years old, selected from parcels in Brusquières, Gardiole, Mont-Redon and Pignan. Glorious raspberry and cherry fruit picks up hints of mint and some stemmy notes, but they're remarkably well-integrated and should be completely absorbed within a couple of years. Full-bodied, rich and creamy in texture, this tour de force remains lively, silky and long on the finish. With 1,000 cases produced, it should be reasonably priced and reasonably available—an increasingly rare combination in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
At Bosquet des Papes, I tasted with the larger-than-life, fifth-generation owner, Nicolas Boiron. Standing out for his size and outgoing personality, he's a true character, not afraid to speak his mind. The Boiron family farms 27 hectares in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and five hectares in Côtes du Rhône, sold under the Domaine Nicolas Boiron label. Philippe Cambie has been a consultant since 2005. Boiron said 2017 is a very good year but with lower quantity. "There's more structure than in 2016," he said. The wines here seem to be going from strength to strength, with quality inching up nearly every vintage and prices still reasonable given the fairly large volumes involved. This is a property to buy from before pricing jumps.