A great bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape can make everything better and the 2017 Usseglio Cuvee Imperiale certainly did the trick for me yesterday. From vines planted in 1901 and 1902, this old vine gem of a wine is rocking good this vintage.
2017 Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf du Pape ‘Cuvee Imperiale’
96 points Jeb Dunnuck and Wine Advocate
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Stephane Usseglio makes some of the silkiest, most fine-grained Chateauneuf du Papes in the world. Often described as having Burgundian-like personalities, but with more body and heft, I’ve fallen in love with his wines over the last two vintages. His Cuvee Imperiale is the estate’s flagship and the 2017 is one of the finest wines Stephane has ever produced.
The combination of extremely old vines and the location of the family’s holdings are the keys to the greatness here. His vineyards are some of the best in Chateauneuf with half of his vines in the famed lieu-dit of “La Crau” and the other half on the hill across the road from the actual ruins of the new castle of the Pope. And Usseglios’ vines are literally some of the oldest in the world. Approaching 120 years of age, this is the “stuff” that goes into the Cuvee Imperiale. And if that wasn’t enough, the estate is certified biodynamic and organic.
Composed of 90% Grenache and the balance in the other 12 approved Chateauneuf grapes, this one is fermented and aged in cement tanks. These old vines produce incredibly low yields of intensely flavored fruit. “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvee Imperiale kicks the intensity up a notch and offers rocking notes of black cherries, garrigue, ground pepper, and incense. More expansive, full-bodied, concentrated, and pure, it’s a brilliant, brilliant wine,” says Jeb Dunnuck. And the Wine Advocate had similar commentary, saying “The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale (from vines planted in 1902) is firm and structured to age magnificently. Roses, black tea and red raspberries all appear on the nose and palate, framed by fine-grained tannins.”
I know times are tough for many, but I’ve had requests for wines like this from some of my clientele. And I’m running some great deals on some lower-priced wines too — CLICK HERE to check out all our specials. AND we stock over 100 wines that retail for $15 or less.
If you love top-flight Chateauneuf, you know this is a good deal. Use the contact form below or call us at 828.505.8588 to place your order today. Cheers and have a great day!
Owner/Operator at Table Wine