The Châteauneuf-du-Pape « Réservé » is a vine-by-vine selection of grapes from « Les Trois Sources » parcels, made almost exclusively of very old Grenache (over 100 years old) with just a sprinkling of Syrah and Cinsault. Generally some of the first vines to be harvested, I personally hand-choose the grapes that go into the « Réservé » and even then, only in vintages when I notice that certain vines in the « Trois Sources » parcels behave better than others. Once harvested, these grapes are put into an open vat to allow for manual punching down of the cap and full control of the extraction process.
“The awesome 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve is at the top of the heap in the vintage, and is world-class stuff. Sharing lots of similarities to the Les Trois Sources (they come from similar terroirs), it has another level of concentration and density, with incredible liquid rock, blueberry, violets, licorice and bouquet garni-like aromas and flavors. A rock star on the palate, it has full-bodied power, perfect balance, a seamless, elegant texture and blockbuster mid-palate depth. Coming from 100-year-old Grenache vines and pure sand soils, it’s a tour de force that will have two-plus decades of life. 98 points.”