More Must-have 2016 Châteauneuf: Domaine du Clos du Mont Olivet

Posted on: 06/14/18 12:58 PM

clos du mont olivet

Little has changed since our last email on this remarkable estate, so what follows below is the same as our last offer. However, despite how good the 2015s are, 2016 is even better. Yes, there’s richness and concentration, intensity and power, but also a stunning sense of harmony and balance, minerality and tension that separates the merely great vintages from the truly legendary.

2016 is a legend. And the Châteauneufs of this vintage will all achieve legendary status. Clos du Mont Olivet will surely rank among them. Savory and sweet, with a long connection to the most traditional practices of the region, these are some of the best wines from France’s smiling South in any vintage.

Two words: load up.

2016 Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge
2016 Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge Vieilles Vignes

2016 Châteauneuf-du Pape Rouge
2016 Châteauneuf-du Pape Rouge Cuvée du Papet

Côtes-du-Rhônes due to arrive in June; Châteauneufs in October.

What to say? Clos du Mont Olivet is not only a store favorite, but one of Châteauneuf’s most heralded producers. Long held in high regard for their old school approach and reluctance to give into faddism, the wines have always been noble agers in many cellars. I’ve been to many a tasting dinner when an old Mont Olivet has been the somber star of the night, with its dried, earthy leather and garrigue notes all sumptuously wrapped around a core of supple, but exotic fruits.

Then again, with a legacy stretching back to the mid-16th century, the Sabon family has had ample opportunity to hone their craft. Moreover, with holdings in some of the most important vineyards of the appellation – La Crau, Le Pied-de-Baud, Montalivet, and Les Gallimades – and an average vine age of 60+ years, they are more than well positioned to take advantage of this heritage.

“One of the benchmark producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape…the consistent results have always been classic Châteauneuf-du-Papes that stand the test of time.” – Robert Parker

“Clos du Mont Olivet, which is now run by Thierry Sabon, is a brilliant estate that fashions traditional, age-worthy Châteauneuf du Papes that have incredibly broad drink windows.”– Jeb Dunnuck

While the three Sabon brothers — Jean-Claude, Pierre and Bernard have run the Domaine for the last 30 years, Bernard’s son took over these responsibilities in 2001. Since then, this already well regarded and celebrated address has earned even greater plaudits.

2016 is a vintage to go loooong on. With critics and producers alike (remember Marc Perrin and Daniel Brunier of Beaucastel and Vieux Télégraphe respectively calling the year the greatest that they had ever produced) hailing the vintage as a modern masterpiece, it is one not to overlook. Check out this red hot glowing praise too:

“So many of the wines are excellent that it will prove hard to take a misstep…It appears that the early hype is justified.” Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate

“a vintage that can be bought with impunity.” Richard Hemming MW

“Among the standard bearers for one of the best Southern Rhône vintages in recent memory” Matt Walls, Decanter

“According to Michel Chapoutier, 2016 could be better than 1990 in the southern Rhône – praise indeed. … Certainly one of the great vintages” Jancis Robinson MW

Domaine de Clos du Mont Olivet is exactly the kind of producer you want to have moldering away in the cellar in such a great vintage. We can’t recommend these wines enough.

Posted in Daily Flash By Ian Halbert