A prospective blend of the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz showed waves of cherry fruit, rich, velvety tannins and a long, spice-driven finish. It's a complete wine, even at this embryonic stage, and should age up to two decades.
This substantial estate totals 60 hectares in total, although only nine lie within Châteauneuf-du-Pape, concentrated in the sandier soils of the appellation's northeastern sector. On my visit, it was great to meet the young Marilou Vacheron, back to join the family estate after five years of business school, and the longtime (since 2002) winemaker Bruno Gaspard. The vineyards have been certified organic since 2010. Gaspard compares the 2016s to 2010 or 2005, he says, "but better."