2018 Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf du Pape La Part des Anges$59.99
Wine Advocate (Joe Czerwinski) 96 pts! In contrast to the tank-aged, Grenache-based Cuvée Imperiale, Usseglio's 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape la Part des Anges is 70% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache and 10% Syrah, all aged in oak. Dark and potent, it marries deep, dark fruit aromas with scents of vanilla and cedar on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is seamlessly smooth and focused, coming to a lingering, precise finish. Given the varietal makeup and elevage, I'd expect this wine to evolve positively for up to two decades.
Jeb Dunnuck 94+ The Mourvèdre-dominated 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Part Des Anges (which includes 20% Grenache and 10% Syrah) was all destemmed and spent 16 months in 80% new barrels, with the balance in concrete tanks. This cuvée comes from two lieux-dits, Les Terres Blanches and Le Mourre de Gaud. A much more modern style cuvée, it has a gorgeous perfume of crème de cassis, crushed violets, graphite, and scorched earth, with a kiss of classy oak in the background. Almost full-bodied on the palate, it has more notable density and depth on the mid-palate, with supple, ripe tannins, remarkable freshness and purity, and a great finish. This is certainly not for the traditional Châteauneuf du Pape-only lovers out there, as the oak is certainly present, but it’s beautifully balanced, the purity of fruit is top-notch, and it’s just a great Châteauneuf du Pape that I suspect will have a solid 15 years or more of longevity, which is saying something for a 2018.<!--more-->Readers looking for the next superstar estate in Châteauneuf du Pape and Côtes du Rhône need to get on Raymond Usseglio’s bandwagon ASAP as the quality here is equal to anything out there today. I still remember writing in 2016 how the quality was on the uptick, and there’s no better example than these latest 2018s and 2019s. The 2018s show the prettier, more elegant style of the vintage, yet bring ample depth and concentration. The 2019s are a step up and offer another level of depth and concentration. Both vintages show incredible purity of fruit and balance. In addition to his Châteauneuf du Pape, don’t miss the Côtes du Rhônes and Vin de France releases! (Drink between 2020 - 2035)