The tiny production 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum comes from a single parcel in the famed La Crau lieu-dit and is brought up in demi-muids. Released only in magnum it’s consistently been one of the most singular brilliant expressions of Grenache in any vintage that's been produced. The 2018 isn’t going to break that trend yet it checks in behind some of the greats such as the 2007 2010 2016 and 2017. Revealing a translucent ruby hue as well as a glorious bouquet of kirsch liqueur ground pepper cured meats candle wax garrigue and Provençal spice this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness as well as a seamless Grand Cru Burgundy-like mouthfeel that carries sensational richness yet no sense of heaviness or weight. With no hard edges beautiful tannins flawless balance and a great great finish it’s going to drink beautifully over the coming 15 years or more. (Drink between 2020-2035)jd
When I visited in June 2019 the selection for the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum hadn't yet been done so this is my first look at the wine. It's marked by the new oak demi-muids with layers of vanilla and cedar sitting atop luscious cherry fruit on the nose and slightly drying wood tannins evident on the full-bodied palate and extending through the long finish. Personally I prefer the less-obvious wood and nuanced complexities in the estate's other premium cuvées in 2018 but there is no denying the hedonistic appeal of this 100% Grenache.