One of my favorites was already the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin (which is always aged in foudres and 600-liter demi-muids, two-thirds in the former and one-third in the latter) and this wine has really put on richness and intensity since I tasted it last year. An absolutely magnificent wine, it scored a good four points higher this year, and it is unusual for me to vary that much from one tasting to the next. Tipping the scales at 15% natural alcohol, this dense purple wine has noble sweetness and an extraordinary concentration of lavender, black cherry liqueur, licorice, and minerality. Full-bodied, with silky tannins, a multi-dimensional, unctuously textured, voluptuous palate and a stunning finish, this wine is outrageously delicious and a phenomenal expression of old-vine Grenache. It should drink well for up to 20+ years. (RP)
Opaque ruby. Pungent aromas of ripe red and blue fruits show liqueur-like power and depth. Large-scaled, expansive and rich, offering explosive raspberry and boysenberry flavors complemented by baking spices and mocha. Almost shockingly lively for such a big wine, finishing with impressive thrust and lingering florality. This wine tips the scales at almost 16% alcohol but I don't get any heat. (JR)
Mouthfilling from the start, with loads of plum sauce, linzer and crushed cherry flavors backed by mouthwatering licorice and roasted spice notes. There's plenty of grip on the finish, with plum skin, pepper, pastis and graphite all chiming in. Best from 2013 through 2023. (JM)
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