Pure perfection in a glass, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is up with the tiny handful of truly monumental wines from this hallowed appellation. Deep, concentrated and incredibly balanced, yet packed with character and intensity, its deep ruby/purple color is followed by insanely good notes of black cherries, fruit cake, lavender, garrigue and chocolate. While a blockbuster of a wine, it possesses the telltale elegance, seamlessness and perfume that's the hallmark of this estate and it never puts a foot wrong, with a seamless mid-palate, building, sweet tannin and a great finish. It's a tour de force to drink anytime over the coming decade or more. (JD)
Glass-staining ruby. Expansive, highly perfumed aromas of cherry-cola, boysenberry, licorice, pipe tobacco and potpourri, with a bright mineral quality adding urgency. Seamless, palate-staining red and dark berry compote flavors pick up notes of spicecake and candied flowers with air. The finish is almost shockingly lithe, showing strong lift and a persistent floral quality. Sophie Estevenin told me that this wine clocks in at 17.2% alcohol; those who plan on driving home after a few glasses of this nectar have been warned. (JR)
Round and lush up front, with a huge core of crushed plum and macerated currant fruit laid over dark tar and loam notes. Starts to strut its stuff on the back end, where plenty of Kenya AA coffee, tobacco and licorice root notes fill out the fleshy, racy finish. There's a great graphite underpinning. (JM)
98% Grenache and no stems. Partly aged in tank as well as old oak foudres. Biodynamic. Run by two women - common in Châteauneuf. Deep crimson. Intense cough-sweet aromas. Hint of coffee too. Very rich, sweet and polished. 17.5/20 points.
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