2007 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Imperiale" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
93-96 points Robert Parker: "A wine worth searching out when these 2007s get released early next year is the 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale. I have been a buyer of this wine in many vintages, and it is very old-vine Grenache, most of it from vines over 100 years of age. It is a blend of 90% Grenache and very ancient vines that Usseglio himself can't even identify. This is absolutely fabulous in 2007, a wine of great purity, extraordinarily vivid aromatics of black currants, black cherry liqueur, licorice, and a touch of spring flowers and spice. It is broad, substantial, authoritative, with the freshness of the vintage well-displayed. With high but velvety tannin, and an exquisitely long finish of close to a minute, this will be one of the profound wines of the vintage, and capable of evolving for 20-25+ years." (10/08) 91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Glass-staining ruby. Powerful, youthfully brooding nose shows deep dark berry, kirsch, Indian spices and licorice. Weighty blackberry and cherry compote flavors are framed by gentle tannins and given lift by tangy minerality. Becomes fresher with air and finishes with excellent clarity and persistence." (Jan/Feb 2009) ETA Late Fall 2009.