Next up—and one of the wines of the vintage—the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous checks in as a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% each of Cinsault and Vaccarèse. It was completely destemmed and the Grenache was raised all in concrete, with the balance raised in larger barrels. This sensational wine offers flat out awesome notes of smoked meats, graphite, spice box and licorice, as well as full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin and a silky, seamless, sexy profile that keeps you coming back to the glass. While the Deux Ex Machina is a bigger, richer wine, this has more elegance and polish. Drink this beauty anytime over the coming decade. (JD)
(60% grenache, 20% syrah, 10% cinsault and 10% vaccarese) Inky ruby. Exotically perfumed bouquet of cherry-cola, licorice, incense and cracked pepper. Sappy and round, with deep dark berry and sassafras flavors, gently chewy tannins and a late kick of black pepper. Finishes with mounting sweetness, exceptional clarity and lingering spiciness. (JR)
Ripe and well put together, with an enticing core of blackberry, blueberry and fig fruit pushing notes of cocoa powder, melted licorice and fruitcake. The long finish is fruit-driven, but has nice buried minerality and plenty of grip. Best from 2009 through 2023. (JM)
Blackish crimson. Very rich and sweet and limpid and transparent and garrigue and expressive. Well done! A vineyard rather than cellar wine… Pretty hot on the finish. But lots of pleasure and genuine. 18+/20 points. (JR)
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