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96pt Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Muse 2016 Guillaume Gonnet

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"2016 is hands down the best young vintage I have seen" Wine Spectator

"One of the most exciting Southern Rhône vintages of my lifetime" Robert Parker Wine Advocate

Guillaume Gonnet is the best Châteauneuf estate you've never heard of - La Muse is their best wine - and 2016 was a superlative year for Châteauneuf-du-Pape!

Winemaker at his family business, the iconic Domaine Font de Michelle, Guillaume Gonnet has branched out on his own to pursue his dream of exploring the ancient vines and varied terroir of the Southern Rhône.

La Muse is his flagship wine, made from truly ancient Grenache vines, 95-115 years old, found in two of Châteauneuf's greatest sub-regions, La Crau and Rayas.

Guillaume aims for softness, elegance and finesse as his signature and here they are combined with power, richness and opulence to create a wine that truly reflects the excellence of the vintage and the land on which the grapes were grown.

Still a new venture, Guillaume Gonnet is already making heads turn and is racking up some high scores from the critics.

We don't think it will long before these wines are recognised as some of the best in Châteauneuf.

Make sure you take advantage before the rest of the world cottons on!

About the wine

La Muse 2016 is young Châteauneuf, but it is surprisingly forward for its youth. Big aromatic complexity explodes from the glass : black cherries, blackberries, fig, cocoa powder, black olive, liquorice - there's an awful lot going on here. On the palate, this is an opulent, generous wine with layers of rich, concentrated fruit interwoven with supple tannins. Rounded and silken, the La Muse is a weighty Châteauneuf with many years ahead of it. It is delicious now but will be even better with a couple more years in the bottle.

Guillaume believes in minimal interference in his winemaking and follows biodynamic principals where possible. His intention is to attain complexity, balance and soft, elegant tannins by using what nature has gifted him.

To make La Muse, hand-picked grapes undergo a 30 day fermentation and maceration using only native yeasts in pyramid-shaped concrete vats. After this, the wine is partly aged in 600 ltr foudres and partly in concrete tank before being blended and bottled.

Winemaker: Guillaume Gonnet
AppellationChâteauneuf du Pape

- 95-97pts, Robert Parker Wine Advocate
- 4.0/5 Stars, John Livingstone-Learmonth
- 4.6/5 Stars, Vivino Rating (all vintages)

Grapes90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and Cinsault
Vineyard: 90 to 115 year old vines
Cooperage: 15 months in partly aged in demi muids
ABV: 14.5%
Drink: 2018-2030

About the winery

The Gonnet family have roots in Châteauneuf-du-Pape that date back to the 1600s. Guillaume's grandfather Etienne, founded the famous Domaine Font de Michelle in the 1950's and Guillaume is now the third generation winemaker there.

In 2015, Guillaume and his Australian wife Kelly, began purchasing their own plots in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and created the Guillaume Gonnet estate.

However Guillaume is not 'a chip off the old block'! Energetic and charismatic and extremely open in his attitude, his curious, boundary challenging approach extends beyond wine.

He travelled to the far ends of the earth, revelling in the opportunity to surf some of the best waves in the world while learning his craft in various Australian and New Zealand regions (not to mention Bordeaux, Burgundy and Napa Valley!). Returning to the Rhône, he has shown similar energy for his family estate and for his own project.

Pursuing biodynamics wherever possible, allowing his fruit to express itself freely through hands-off winemaking and displaying his fascination for the varying soils of the Rhône through his diverse range of wines, he's just the sort of restless creative that creates great wine!

About the vineyard

The Grenache for La Muse comes from 90-115 year old vines planted in the famous Châteauneuf vineyards of Rayas and La Crau. The vineyards have a deep surface area of round pebbles called pudding stones, layered over 3 meter deep red clay soils on a south facing plateau.


95-97 points - Joe Czerwinski

Blended from the lieux-dits of La Crau and Rayas, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Muse tank sample carries a hint of fresh herbs upfront for freshness but also plush black cherry fruit, creamy/supple tannins and a long, licorice-tinged finish. It looks to be a stunner!"

4/5 Stars - John Livingstone-Learmonth

The nose gives an immediate aroma of blackberry lozenges and prunes, has a surround of sweet herbes de Provence, some dusty earth. The palate holds gras that is quietly concentrated, gives a thorough layering of red-fruited flavour and a close-knit jam-like texture. There are thick tannins on show as it finishes. This is a weighty wine based on succulence." 


"Perfection in a glass; earthy, spice, tobacco, chocolate-cherry finish; amazing from a young producer!" 5/5 Stars



Other Details

LAST FEW BOTTLES! Incredible 95-97pt wine from Châteauneuf's best new estate
LAST FEW BOTTLES! Century old vines, 95-97pts, sublime vintage - incredible new Châteauneuf
2018-05-13 23:59:59
#review=Robert Parker Wine Advocate:
#stars_review=John Livingstone-Learmonth:
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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