A brilliant showing, the ’05 Reine des Bois is still fantastically young and dense, showing blackberry, cassis, graphite, roasted herbs and smoke on the nose. There are hints of underlying garrigue and southern Rhône typicity and the wine sports serious depth and richness, all with edgy, focused energy. Full bodied, concentrated, balanced and very long, this needs another 5 to 7 years and then should drink beautifully over the following 20. Quickly becoming my favorite vintage from this producer. 97+
The Delorme Brother’s 2005 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee de la Reine des Bois has been incredibly consistent for me, and is always an upper-90s scoring wine. A big, full-bodied, structured effort, its inky purple color is followed by a terrific bouquet of ripe black fruits, toasted spice, graphite, chocolate and garrigue. Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and the rest 5% Vaccarèse, brought up 30% in barrels and 70% in stainless steel, it will have another 10-15 years of prime drinking. (JD)
Packed with layers of fig, raspberry and blackberry confiture flavors, this is long and fleshy, with lots of racy graphite and sweet cocoa notes. The long, ripe, defined finish shows great grip, with encores of fruit and minerality. (JM)
Dark purple. The nose offers a kaleidoscopic bouquet of dark berry preserves, Asian spices, incense and fresh flowers. Impressively deep and velvety, with sweet blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors and gentle mineral lift. Really stains the palate, finishing with outstanding cling and sappy persistence. The oak spice, which was so noticeable and bothersome to me last year, seems to have been nearly completely absorbed. Mea culpa. (JR)
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