More youthful and backwards, the 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de La Reine des Bois has been incredibly consistent for me and always comes in near the top of the scale. Black raspberry, blackberry, wood smoke, licorice, crushed rock-like minerality and smoked beef are just some of the nuances here, and it hits the palate with serious levels of fruit, thrilling structure and blockbuster length. It still needs another handful of years to hit full maturity, but its off-the-hook good today (assuming you’re not completely against tannin). (JD)
Saturated medium ruby. Superripe aromas of cassis, blackberry, violet and roasted nuts; if some past vintages of this wine have been Burgundian in style, this is classic roasted Chateauneuf du Pape, but with more black than red fruits. Large-scaled, thick and explosive in the mouth, with lush flavors of black fruits, creme de framboise and minerals and firm underlying structure. Wonderfully sweet, dense and long on the aftertaste, with big but fine tannins. (ST)
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