This shows the power and finesse of Grenache in all its glory, with layers of ripe, seductive blackberry and fig compote, cocoa, hoisin sauce and spice cake backed by muscular grip and a long, tangy, mineral-driven finish that shows great cut. This is bigger and longer than the Vieilles Vignes right now, but also more accessible.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Drink now through 2027. (JM)
The 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve is a fair step back from the incredible 2001, 2003 and 2005, yet is still a beautiful 1998 that's drinking at point. Black cherry liqueur, candied licorice, burnished wood, liquid smoke and cured meats all give way to a full-bodied, concentrated Chateauneuf that has plenty of fine tannin and a great finish. As is common with a lot of '98s, its structure is front and center, yet I think it has the fruit to continue evolving nicely. (JD)
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