Just loaded with racy red and black currant fruit, this also pumps out cocoa, bacon, smoked apple wood and tar flavors as well, but stays remarkably fresh and vibrant through the finish. Surprisingly accessible now, but ironclad tannins will let this cruise for a generation. Drink now through 2030. 460 cases made. (JM)
More chewy, rustic and concentrated than the Croix de Bois, the 2003 M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac offers up meaty aromas of dried licorice, dusty earth, beef blood and cured meats. Taking the better part of the evening to open up, it gains in both sweetness and polish with air. On the palate, it is full-bodied, broad-shouldered and decidedly rich, with a core of concentrated fruit and still notable tannin adding grip through the finish. One of the younger 2003s at this stage, I still think it’s drinking at point and would aim for consuming bottles over the coming 5-7 years. (JD)
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