Happily, the last two bottles of 1998 Cuvee Centenaire from my cellar were representative of the score that has been bestowed above. Dense plum/garnet to the rim, with an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, blackberry, licorice, camphor, new saddle leather, and scorched earth, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, rich, very pure, and from sound bottles, a great Cuvee Centenaire that comes close to rivaling the perfect 1990. (RP)
Bright saturated ruby-red. Like a fruit essence on the nose: crushed cherry and currant complicated by violet and rose petal perfume. Boasts an almost uncanny old-viney creaminess of texture, but the superripe, almost jammy flavors are perfectly framed by ripe acidity. Note of bitter chocolate. The Mourvedre gives this wine superb grip, with the big but sophisticated tannins reaching the front teeth. (ST)
Dark, brooding aromas of fig compote and a spiced Port reduction unfurl from the glass, leading to a rich, velvety palate that shows notes of plum sauce, braised chestnut, macerated boysenberry, bittersweet chocolate ganache and dark rum-soaked prune. There's powerful structure, but the layers of exotic fruit just absorb it all. A very impressive showing. (JM)
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