Philippe Cambie and his partner, Michel Gassier, who is one of the top producers in Costières des Nîmes, produce a wide range of wines from across the southern Rhône appellations under this label. Readers familiar with the wines made under Cambie’s advisement won’t be surprised to hear that these Châteauneufs are emphatically perfumed and fruit-driven, with serious depth and supple, well-integrated tannins. Even in structured years like 2015, the Halos de Jupiter wines show well young and, while they definitely have the stuffing and balance to age, they’re also extremely accessible soon after release, such is their fruit intensity.
Les Halos de Jupiter 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Adrastée 92-94 pts
Deep brilliant ruby. Intense raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by hints of potpourri, exotic spices and vanilla. Juicy, seamless and impressively concentrated, offering palate-staining red fruit liqueur, spicecake, cola and floral pastille flavors. Distinctly suave and seamless in texture, displaying impressive depth and thrust on the red-fruit- and mineral-driven finish.
Les Halos de Jupiter 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 91-93 pts
Lurid ruby. Intensely perfumed, spice-accented raspberry and incense aromas show excellent clarity thanks to a bright mineral overtone. Concentrated yet lively in style, offering appealingly sweet red and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that pick up a smoky quality with air. Subtle tannins frame the persistent finish, which strongly echoes the red berry and mineral notes.
Philippe Cambie told me that what distinguished 2016 in Gigondas was “the extra element of richness but the way that the wines also kept the freshness that’s a signature of the appellation.” Cambie’s partner in this small-but-growing, high-quality négociant operation is Michel Gassier, who himself makes some of the best wines in the Costiëres de Nîmes at his family’s property. Readers familiar with Cambie’s consulting work across the southern Rhône won’t be surprised to hear that the Halos de Jupiter wines display distinct power, depth and fruit intensity, along with supple, harmonious tannins that make for plenty of up-front appeal. As for their Gigondas, it’s a concrete-tank-raised blend of Grenache (85%) and Mourvèdre (15%) sourced from vineyards in the high-altitude, prime Dentelles de Montmirail area, Four Danuga and Les Maurelles.
Les Halos de Jupiter 2016 Gigondas 92 pts
Bright ruby. Deeply pitched red and dark berry aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied licorice and garrigue. Sappy and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors along with smoky mineral and lavender flourishes. Shows impressive clarity on the incisive, impressively long finish, which features supple tannins and lingering floral and spice notes.
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