Right from the first sniff, this has so much going on. Earthy, wet clay, mineral notes are interspersed with wood resin, toasted hazelnuts, sweeter nougat, dried peach and fresh quince aromas. The palate has tremendous depth, awash with freshness, contrasting the almost Sauternes-like concentration of dried citrus, orchard fruit and honey notes, yet finishing completely dry. A layering of apricot, acacia wood and a floral lift bring impressive levels of flavour complexity to the palate. The sweeter nougat and floral perfumes linger on the energised finish.
FINE+RARE (May 2021)Drink 2021-2030
Now that it's in the bottle, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Cuvee Speciale continues to impress. Gentle toast and honey notes accent white peaches in a wine that really does resemble a top white Burgundy. Yes, it's a bit fuller-bodied and more flavorful than most, but then it finishes long and crisp. Wow!
Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (August 2019)Score: 96/100Drink 2019-2030
Pale green-hued yellow. A highly complex, mineral-accented bouquet evokes ripe citrus and orchard fruits, iodine, buttered toast and pungent flowers, and a hint of anise emerges with air. Shows superb depth and clarity, offering vibrant orange, pear nectar, sweet butter and fennel flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Powerful yet graceful in style, displaying superb focus and minerally thrust on an impressively long finish that features lingering floral and orchard fruit flourishes.
Josh Raynolds (October 2018)Score: 95-96/100
I was able to taste two barrels of the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clairette Vieilles Vignes, both showing different profiles, one richer and fatter, the other fresher and more focused. Both had classic honeyed citrus and mineral aromas and flavors, some oak to integrate, terrific concentration, and a big finish. It's going to unquestionably be another great vintage for this cuvée, and there are few whites out there that can pull off this rich, concentrated, yet vibrant and complex style so well. Don’t miss it.
Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018)Score: 95-97/100
This vintage, there are only two new Stockinger demi-muids of the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Cuvee Speciale. It's a terrific wine, boasting exceptionally fine floral and herbal nuances, nectarine and citrus fruit, a rich texture and a long finish. Like I wrote last year of the 2016, it's grand cru white Burgundy made in the Southern Rhone. Not to be missed by lovers of white Rhone varieties, it will be bottled in February 2019, only in magnums. Aug 2018, www.robertparker.com
Joe Czerwinski, Wine AdvocateScore: 94-96/100