2015 Ian Brand, Le P’Tit Paysan, Le P’Tit Pape, Central Coast.
The wonderfully pure and stylish 2015 P’Tit Pape California Rhone blend by Ian Brand gushes with distinctive Grenache based red fruits, but with delicate complexity of detail making for a joyous youthful red. The P’Tit Pape 2015 is a savvy blend of 62% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 3% Counoise and 2% Cinsault that shows tangy pomegranate, kirsch, strawberry and dusty red berries along with a hint of blueberry and cranberry as well as sweet and savory spices and chalky stones all folding together nicely, after starting with tight focus, it opens to silken layers. Medium weight at this point and very fresh and vibrant, this new P’Tit Pape reminds me of Domaine la Barroche’s basic Chateauneuf du Pape cuvee, it’s a remarkably refined effort that shows no traces of barrique (oak) in it’s flavor profile allowing the wine to clearly express itself without any need for bling. This is a wine truly comfortable in it’s own shoes, and while it’s inspired by Chateauneuf du Pape it is really a serious bargain wine, priced right to compete against Cotes du Rhone Villages and Gigondas, and even though it comes from a warm and concentrated vintage it doesn’t reflect heat or heaviness in any way, this wine, while ripe graces the palate with natural acidity and harmony, it is rewarding throughout gaining subtle lavender, anise seed, pepper, tart currant and rose oil elements that help make the vivid fruit stand out. It’s a tough choice between the earthier and dark fruit driven 2014 and this 2015 that is more red fruit, mineral and lengthier, both offer great value, it comes down to personal preference, which in my case leans me toward the 2015, it’s a wine I see more of in my own future, be sure to look for it!
($22 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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