What's a candidate for the wine of the vintage, the sensational 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (85% Grenache and 15% Syrah) is a sunny, Provencal, sexy and incredibly full-bodied beauty. With a still youthful ruby color, a big mid-palate, sweet tannin and tons of decadent aromas of currants, black cherries, garrigue, chocolate and spiced meats, this blockbuster Chateauneuf du Pape delivers incredible intensity and flavor (it's over 16% alcohol), yet stays lively, graceful and seamless. It's ready to go, but will keep through 2023. (JD)
Deep ruby. Extremely fresh on the nose (I'd never have guessed this to be from 2003), with spicy raspberry, blackcurrant, anise and floral qualities. Shockingly lithe, with precise red fruit flavors, silky texture and a strong floral pastille quality. The finish refuses to let up and leaves intense floral and mineral qualities behind. An uncommonly graceful wine from a vintage not reputed for such a style.
***Collectibles*** Dark and brooding, this has a massive core of blackberry ganache, blueberry jam, cocoa powder, tar, mesquite and charcoal flavors caged by ironclad tannins. Shows awesome depth and length of fruit even though the brawn of the vintage is dominant now. If you're considering hunting this white rhino, cellaring is a must. (JM)
Inky ruby color. Explosively aromatic and nuanced on the nose, with intense cherry, blackberry and cassis fruit aromas complicated by licorice, cola, sassafras, magnolia and dried rose. Exotic and sweet, with wild flavors of blood orange, kirsch, raspberry jam, truffle and mocha. Dense and loaded with extract, with a distinctly unctuous, mouthcoating texture. The tannins are totally buffered by the superripe berry flavors. (JR)
CS. Very exciting wine that has long been in great demand. Amazing vibrancy despite its great weight of ripe, extremely ‘bright’ vivacious fruit. This somehow manages to have lift despite its heavy charge of ripe tannins and fruit. A conjuring trick of a wine. 19/20 Points
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