Bracketed by two vintages that were (overly) critically acclaimed around the world, the 2008 vintage was underestimated by these same critics, who tend to prefer heavy-punching wines with high alcohol content that results in spectacular wines that are nevertheless not always easy to drink over a meal. In the Rhône Valley, the 2008 vintage was marked by extreme weather: hail, storms and violent winds were a daily fact of life for many wine-makers throughout a good chunk of the year, and particularly in September. Wine-makers were forced to practice severe selectiveness, but the result is highly appealing, featuring very refined wines. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are delicious, packed full of fruit and remaining fresh and easy to drink without overloading the palate. To be consumed without waiting too long. The 2008 Loire Valley vintage.