Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2019  Front Label
Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2019  Front LabelDomaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2019  Front Bottle Shot

Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2019

  • JS96
  • V95
  • RP92
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

La Cuvée Imperiale is from our oldest vines, most of them 100 years old (planted in 1901-1902.) Extremely low yields (16-18 h/h) guarantee a wine that is dense and profound. The ancient Grenache vines bring to this cuvee their finesse and elegance. Will age for dozens of years. To be carafed during the first years. Because it is bottled without any filtration, some sediment – natural and beneficial to the aging process – is possible

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling

Deep, spicy and fragrant, this is a very concentrated and elegant Chateauneuf-du-Pape with remarkably fine tannins and floral delicacy alongside its earthy primacy. Mainly produced from grenache vines planted in 1901 and 1902. From Demeter-certified biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.

V 95
Vinous

Saturated magenta. Highly perfumed raspberry and cherry liqueur, exotic spice, incense and potpourri aromas are complicated by hints of musky herbs and smoky minerals. Juicy, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering pliant red berry, cherry cola, allspice and lavender flavors that show superb definition and back-end lift. Polished, even tannins lend grip to a strikingly long, penetrating finish that echoes the floral and mineral notes. These vines were reportedly planted in 1901 and 1902.

RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

From a parcel of vines planted in 1902—about 95% Grenache, with a few other varieties interplanted—the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale doesn't appear to measure up to the prodigious efforts in prior (or successive) vintages. It has intricate herbal nuances and scents of cranberries on the nose, and while the fruit is more cherry-like on the palate, it remains a bit tight and ungenerous. Perhaps I just caught this at a difficult stage in its evolution, as the long finish is reassuringly supple and silky. I suspect time will show that I've underrated it, but I can just report on my findings from that day of blind-tasting. Rating: 92+


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Domaine Raymond Usseglio

Domaine Raymond Usseglio

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Domaine Raymond Usseglio, France
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The property, originally started by Raymond Usseglio, covers 16 ha of AOC Chateauneuf du Pape, one of which is planted with white varieties and 5 ha of Cotes du Rhone and 3 ha of IGP. Stephane Usseglio, son of Raymond, is the third generation to take over. He is pushing to reach the potential of the family’s holdings, some of the best of Chateauneuf. Half his vines are situated near the road in the lieu-dit "La Crau" and the other half on the hill across the road from the actual ruins of the new castle of the Pope. He has the good fortune to have very old vines. The average age for his Chateauneuf vines is between 50 & 60 years old and the cuvee Imperiale vines are over 110 years old. The domain started conversation into agriculture biologique in 2012.

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

XXIUSSEG_IMPER_2019_2019 Item# 746106

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