Fantastic red. Big-bodied, velvety and suave, with mocha, spice and gorgeous ripe fruit, it walks a thin line between modern and traditional, delivering mineral and terroir quality thanks to its great concentration. The fruit and tannins are so sweet. Tempting now. Best from 2005 through 2030. *Highly Recommended* (PM)
Drinking perfectly and possessing classic aromas of mature, garrigue-laced Grenache fruit, saddle leather, truffle, spice cabinet, and licorice, the 1998 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée La Cote Ronde shows not a hint of its modern elevage and displays nothing but pure, southern Rhône character in both its aromas and palate feel. Full-bodied and still beautifully fruited and rich, with an almost Burgundian silkiness and polish, this superb ’98 is fully mature (it held up and improved over the evening), yet should continue to evolve gracefully for another 5-8 years, possible longer. Having said that, I think it is drinking at point, and would plan on drinking over the next handful of years while the fruit is still vibrant and fresh. Beautiful stuff anyway you look at it and a solid, positive data-point on how these modern, barrique-aged cuvees develop and age.
It often has an abundance of pain grille and smoky, oaky notes in its youth, but that has all been integrated into the wine at age 12. This wine is fully mature, displaying beautiful, sweet notes of black currants, kirsch, lavender, Provencal herbs, and a subtle hint of graphite. (RP)
Full bright ruby. Black fruits, cherry, violet and spicy oak on the nose. Silky, sweet and very rich, with surprisingly fresh, sharply defined black fruit, espresso and mineral flavors. Finishes very long, with fine tannins and a note of bitter chocolate. This shows much more Chateauneuf typicity than the '99 version, as there much more material here to support the oak. Very impressive. (ST)
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