Shows the great embedded structure of the vintage, with a strong graphite undertow pushing the layers of blackberry, boysenberry and plum fruit, while additional sweet spice, mocha and bittersweet cocoa notes fill in the background. Packed with fruit and terroir, with a gorgeous mouthfeel. Best from 2008 through 2027. (JM)
Showing the firm, slightly masculine (even austere) edge of the vintage, the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul offers terrific richness in its black fruits, asphalt, roasted herbs, tar and licorice. Big, full-bodied, structured and tannic, drink it anytime over the coming decade or so. (JD)
Deep red. Musky cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by sassafras, garrigue and anise. Saturates the palate with suave red and dark berry preserve flavors, hints of candied licorice and lavender, and velvety tannins. Seems to gain sweetness on the finish, which is striking for its mix of power and balance. There's nothing hard about this. (JR)
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