Xavier Vignon 2016 La Papesse - 94-Points Wine Advocate: 100% gorgeous Grenache from the legendary 2016 vintage. La Papesse is created through a meticulous and laborious production process described below. Another big yet sexy CDP, this wine open with aromas of leather and cedar and seduces you in with an abundance of black cherry and plum. Ultra-refined tannins splay out in a silky finish. Like the other two CDP's, drink now or hold for another decade+.
94-Points: The full-bodied, voluminous 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Arcane La Papesse shows a surprising degree of elegance for such a big wine. Remarkably dark and youthful in appearance, it gives up hints of leather, cedar and dried spices, all set against a backdrop of black cherries and plums. The tannins are fine and silky on the mid-palate, fading gently into soft dustiness on the lingering finish. Impressive, with at least a decade of aging potential still ahead of it. - Wine Advocate
Winemaking Notes from Vignon website:
Grown predominantly in the coolest terroirs situated in the North of the appellation. The soils are composed of rolled pebble interspersed with clay. This soil composition offers excellent drainage properties and helps to regulate warmth in the soils during hot weather.
La Papesse is a made from a very specific selection of grapes grown in the Châteauneuf du Pape collection vineyards (very old vines, often co-planted). They are then sorted to ensure optimum consistency.
The juices were separated into different containers prior to vinification (conical truncated vats, concrete vats and stainless steel vats, around 1/3 of each).
After the malolactic fermentation in early November 2016, the wine was divided into different containers again ready for ageing (amphora, barrels, concrete vats, demi-muids and stainless steel).
A proportion of the wine was aged in the same way as the Arcane Le Pape using the Vinarium technique. The wines were then transferred into small 200L barrels which were they themselves immersed in wine. This process took place over several years from 2017 to 2020.