Critics Score: 100
Publication: Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
Drinking Dates: 2020-2040
Only the second vintage of this cuvée ever to be produced (the other is 2007), the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape XXL is about 75% Grenache, with the rest a mix of permitted varieties. It incorporates "a lot" of whole clusters and matured in demi-muid. It was bottled in May but will likely only be released in November, says Christophe Sabon. Classy aromas of crushed stone, pencil shavings and baking spices start it off on a terrific note, while ripe raspberries and stone fruit unfold on the full-bodied palate. Contrary to the implications of its name, this wine boasts incredible finesse, elegance and length and is in fact more impressive for those qualities than its overall size, power and richness. It will certainly open a few eyes.