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The vines of the Châteauneuf estate average 45 years of age, and replanting of new vines takes place amidst the older vines in order to moderate the former's growth and productivity. All of the grapes at the estate are handpicked and then 90-95% de-stemmed before crushing, fermentation and aging. This is the first cuvee, which is typically 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre and spends 6-8 months in new oak before racking and then 6-8 more months in barrel. Look for this stylish wine to show robust flavors of dark cherry, crushed red berries and pepper with notes of chocolate and citrus peel on the nose, set in a ripe, integrated tannic structure and ending in a long, sweet finish.

This is going to be a legendary vintage for the Mont-Redon rouge, but it is going to need all of a decade in the cellar to start to blossom. The bouquet is deep, complex and very pure, as it offers up a powerful mélange of black cherries, raspberries, lavender, pepper, stony soil tones, sandalwood, a gentle touch of meatiness and a spicy top-note. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with lovely purity and focus, fine, ripe tannins and superb length and grip on the well-balanced and still very primary finish. Mont-Redon is sometimes criticized for a lack of true Châteauneuf power in comparison to its neighbours, but not even the staunchest proponent of “Monster Châteauneuf” should have an issue with the depth and intensity on display in the 2007 Mont-Redon. The Abeilles are very enthusiastic for the potential of the 2007, and it is very easy to appreciate why this is the case. A dynamite wine in the making. 2020-2050+. Rating: 94+ Points; John Gilman; A View From The Cellar

Tasted alongside the 2008, it's fair to say there's a marked contrast between vintages. Cherry, mineral, some choc-licorice, lavender and spice. It's medium to full bodied with fine tannin and has an appealing ‘stony' character to go along with its largely savoury flavour profile, though there's ample fruit flesh hanging on those bones too. Here's a really good drink that's lively and suave, with a lighter, almost Pinot-esque, feel to it. Time is likely to be kind too. Lovely. Tasted : Nov11; Alcohol : 14.5%; Price : $65; Closure : Cork; Drink : 2011 - 2023; Rated : 93 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front

Inky purple. Pure, enticing aromas of strawberry, raspberry, five-spice powder and lavender expand with air. Seamless and sweet, with pinot-like weight and texture to the fresh red fruit flavours and a late note of Asian spices. This is already quite attractive and will drink well on release. Rating: 91-94 Points; Stephen Tanzer; International Wine Cellar  

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