Named for the vineyard parcel from which it comes, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape F601 is entirely Cinsault, from vines planted in 1928. Aged in demi-muids, there are only 800 bottles of this new cuvée, so I suppose this review is largely academic. That said, when Cinsault performs like this, it's certainly worthy of note, as it's often used for rosé or (in Châteauneuf, an appellation where rosé isn't permitted) dismissed as a minor blending variety. This wine is anything but minor. Floral and spicy on the nose, supremely silky on the palate, nearly endless on the finish, it delivers the goods, cushioned by perfumed, herbal, cherry and raspberry fruit flavors.
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Jeb Dunnuck : Proprietress Isabel Ferrando continues to fashion some of the most profound wines on the planet, and her 2017s and 2018s are not going to change that trend. Looking at the wines, the estate is in the southern portion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and covers roughly 55 acres, from which she releases five cuvées: two whites and three reds. For the reds, the classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape is always a rough blend of 90% Grenache (from 70-year-old vines) and the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre aged in demi-muids and smaller barrels. The Reserve Auguste Favier comes from 60- to 100-year-old vines and is based largely on Grenache with around 15% Cinsault, aged all in older barrels. This cuvée always shows a seamless, elegant profile. Lastly, and what I would consider her top wine, the Collection Charles Giraud is always a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the Grenache aged in tank and the Mourvèdre in demi-muids. I’ve also included her Châteauneuf-du-Pape Colombis cuvée here, which is released under the Isabel Ferrando label. It’s 100% Grenache from the sandy soils of the Colombis lieu-dit located on the western edge of the appellation.