Coming from a vintage that featured a hot summer followed by substantial rain in September that forced vignerons to wait until late September/early October to harvest, the 1995 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin (70% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 5% Counoise) has the classic Beaucastel funk, with lots of olive tapenade, gamey meat, truffle and sweet currant and cherry fruit. Still structured and firm on the palate, it opens up nicely in the glass, has impressive concentration and a spine of both acidity and tannin that should keep it evolving nicely for another decade or so.
Coming mostly from a plot of old vines located behind the estate, the Perrin Family’s Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin was first created in 1989 and is a tribute to the late Jacques Perrin, who passed away in 1978. Aged all in foudre and normally a blend of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and the rest Syrah, it’s only produced in top vintages and there’s normally a scant 400-500 cases to go around. It’s an incredible, yet atypical Châteauneuf du Pape due to its high Mourvèdre content. While most vintages require upwards of a decade of cellaring, the more forward, sexy vintages can certainly be enjoyable in their youth as well.
The wine reveals more of an aged beef, smoked duck-like component, no doubt because of the higher percentage of Counoise and Muscardin. Although there is less Mourvedre in this cuvee, it still possesses the massive richness, opaque purple color, and sweet, earthy fruit that oozes over the palate with extraordinary intensity and purity. The change in the 1995`s blend gives the wine a more spice-driven, animal character, with the distinctive aged beef/Asian, spice/smoked duck characteristics more exaggerated. This wine needs 12-15 years of cellaring, and should last 40-50 years. It is a modern-day classic.