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Three epic Châteauneuf-du-Papes

2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de la Solitude, Southern Rhône, France £33.99, reduced to £26.99, strictlywine.co.uk

The people at Strictly Wine assure me that the reduced prices shown here will still be live at the time of this publication, which is awesome news for us all. My featured estate Châteauneuf, its white sibling, 2018 Châteauneuf-du Pape Blanc (£35.49, reduced to £28.99), and the red super-cuvée 2015 Châteauneuf-du Pape, Cuvée Barberini (£54, reduced to £41.99), are quite simply the finest releases from this much overrated appellation I have tasted in aeons.

The grandeur, complexity and depth and accuracy of fruit shown by each wine took my breath away – I couldn’t believe the effect they had on my senses. The white is every inch a diva, with richness and indulgence on the peach-blossom-kissed nose, but it is the palate, which brings this exuberance under control with deft acidity and a dramatic pinch of minerality, that made me gasp. 

The two reds offer masses of impact on the nose, but the flavours are honed, mellow, super-long and with no trace of unwanted coarseness or gruffness, unlike so many wines from this region. The estate wine is drinking perfectly already and it is staggering value for money when you consider the depth and nobility of its stance on your senses. Barberini is flashy, full, swaggering and memorable, but it doesn’t overplay its hand, keeping the oak and alcohol in perfect harmony with the lusty fruit. Do not miss out on these epic wines.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)

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