More closed, yet still loaded with potential, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Reserve offers a tight, reserved bouquet of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with ample spice box, mineral, and meaty notes developing with time in the glass. Full-bodied, concentrated, and straight on the palate, it has beautiful depth and richness, yet needs 4-5 years of bottle age.
In case readers were wondering, it is possible to be disappointed by a wine that rates "only" 97 points. I had such high hopes for the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reserve after tasting it last year, but this year the bottled wine is only extraordinary, not potentially perfect. Hints of cedar and vanilla from aging in 20% new demi-muids accent ripe black cherries in this full-bodied, silky-textured but concentrated wine that once again manages to combine richness with airiness, power with elegance and features a finish that lingers while being refreshing at the same time. It's still a major-league contender for wine of the vintage.