Possibly the wine of the vintage is the 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Le Clos du Cailloux. I tasted this wine four times from bottle, and it has blown away some tough competition. A wealth of fruit, power, and balance, amazing purity, and a sumptuous, 65-second finish are the stuff of legends. As usual, it is a blend of 45% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, and the rest Syrah as well as miscellaneous varietals. The Mourvedre must be picked incredibly ripe as there is never any of that grape's astringency or toughness. However, being an anti-oxidant varietal, I am sure this is a sign of how much aging potential these wines possess. This is an enormous, well-delineated, superb wine. Anticipated maturity: now-2020+. (RP)
Full bright ruby, one of the darkest examples of the vintage. Multidimensional nose blossomed with aeration to show black raspberry, cassis, minerals, violet face powder, roasted herbs and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully silky, expanding dark fruit flavors lifted by a compelling floral element. This is explosively aromatic in the mouth. A monumental wine that combines great density with uncanny inner-mouth perfume. Extremely fresh and firm on the back. I suspect this has a rather low pH for a Chateauneuf this rich. This blew away the Quartz when I tasted the two wines side by side. Interestingly, this includes about 30% Mourvedre, but it's less tight than the Quartz today. I wouldn't say this is archetypical Chateauneuf du Pape, but it's an extraordinary wine, and will make a fitting testament to Vacheron, who reportedly bottled it himself in March, the day before his death. (ST)
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