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94 91Direct ImportCotes du Rhone Villages, Southern Rhone, FRANCE$29.99 Bottle
- Cellar 5 - 6 years (2023-2024)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
Totally opaque dark red black core with a bright dark red hue. Rising out of the glass are ripe dark raspberry, dark cherry and subtle liquorice aromatics which overlay light earth, infusions of fresh herbs and spice. Youthful, concentrated and rich, the palate is flooded with freshly crushed dark raspberry juice and liquorice flavours which sit over a bed of earthy garden herbs, subtle infusions of incense and spice. Finishes dry with chewy but ripe tannins and fresh acidity. Long dark raspberry, red liquorice, fresh garden herbs and spicy earth aftertaste.
Cellar 5-6 years.
Domaine les Aphillanthes is located in the tiny village of Travaillan, just to the north of Châteauneuf du Pape, and is run by Daniel Boulle. Readers looking for some of the best Côtes du Rhônes out there are well advised to get on this estate’s bandwagon.
Not yet bottled, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu Vieilles Vignes is a head turner that delivers everything you could want from a Côtes du Rhône. Blueberries, strawberries, spice and garrigue all emerge from this full-bodied, opulent, undeniably sexy 2016 that has sweet tannin and a great finish. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, from 60-year-old vines, destemmed and aged in concrete tanks, it’s a quintessential southern Rhône to buy by the case.
The wines of Domaine les Aphillanthes never seem to get the big headlines, yet proprietor Daniel Boulle has been turning out rich, satisfying wines for decades. Biodynamic since 2003 (certified since 2007), Boulle explains that "the wine isn't made in the cellar; it's made all year long." These are wines notably marked by their hot terroir, but they rarely exhibit heat themselves. Situated in the often-overlooked region of Plan de Dieu, a flat, galet-strewn expanse to the west of Gigondas, Boulle has expanded into some more glamorous appellations in recent years, purchasing a property in Rasteau in 2009 and releasing his first Gigondas from the 2014 vintage.
An 80/20 blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre from vines over 60 years of age, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu Vieilles Vignes is so promising from tank. It's dark fruited, tight and reserved on the nose but explodes on the palate with power, combining high alcohol, high extract and ample acidity. It should be exciting when it's released and drink well for 5-7 years. Drink 2018-2025.
Joe Czerwinski – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
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