The 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Deux-Ex Machina (always a blend of 60% tank-aged Grenache and 40% barrel-aged Mourvedre) is easily one of the top 2-3 wines in the vintage. Gorgeously perfumed, with aromas of smoked duck, lavender, black cherry, currants and licorice, it bucks the vintage profile and is voluptuously textured, with full-bodied richness and depth, masses of fine tannin and a seamless profile. Hedonistic, yet beautifully layered and balanced, it’s a great drink now, yet will continue to evolve gracefully for another decade. (JD)
Inky violet. Heady bouquet of raspberry, black cherry, lavender and fruity black pepper. Impressively concentrated and deep, with powerful, liqueur-like blackberry and cassis flavors enrobing big but supple tannins. Finishes with building sweetness and serious weight, but also with superb focus, leaving behind an impression of dark fruit essences. The yield here was reportedly 20 hectoliters per hectare. (JR)
An impressive modern style, with layers of chocolate ganache, fig paste and graphite held together by muscular tannins and plenty of sweet toast and tar on the finish. Has a lot in reserve, with a hint of garrigue in the background keeping it honest. (JM)
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