CDP Cuvee Imperiale 2007

Usseglio, Raymond

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Tasting Notes

One of the most singular wines out there is the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Impériale. Made from 100% very old vine Grenache and aged in tank, it offers a sensational bouquet of spring flowers, peach pit, black raspberries, violets and mint. Full-bodied, unctuous and layered, with an enormous mid-palate, it has silky tannin, incredible depth and a great, great finish. This beauty just glides across the palate and has another decade or more of prime drinking.

Score: 98

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2010-2032 28 February 2017

The blockbuster 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale (90% Grenache and 20% other authorized varietals) comes from a vineyard planted in 1902. Aged 80% in tank and 20% in small wood barrels, it may be the finest wine I have yet tasted from Raymond Usseglio. This exquisite offering is Burgundian-like in its floral minerality mixed with dense kirsch liqueur and garrigue notes. Full-bodied, sensationally rich, and large-scaled as well as fresh, vibrant, and precise, this sensational effort can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20 years. The name -Usseglio- is well-known in Chateauneuf du Pape as the Usseglio family immigrated from Italy during the Great Depression. There are two top domaines named Usseglio, that of Raymond and Pierre Usseglio. The Raymond Usseglio estate is now being run by Stephane Usseglio, who has introduced a new Mourvedre-based cuvee called La Parte des Anges (reviewed here and called Reserve des Anges in last year-s report). The 2008s are very good for the vintage, but the 2007s are the finest wines I have tasted at Raymond Usseglio since their 1998s, and these may even eclipse them.

Score: 96

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 31 October 2009

A wine worth searching out when these 2007s get released early next year is the 2007 Chateauneuf 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. This staunch traditionalist, who ages everything in old barrels for 16 to 18 months, has turned out absolutely sensational 2007s, and his 2006s are certainly among the strongest wines of the vintage.

Score: 93 - 96

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: n/a 31 October 2008