Shockingly, the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Combe des Fous is almost as good. From a vintage that flies under the radar, it boasts a classic Clos Saint Jean profile of kirsch liqueur, ripe black raspberries, ground herbs and sweet garrigue to go with full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Always slightly more elegant and silky than the more powerful Deus ex Machina, this thrill ride of a Chateauneuf will continue to drink well for another decade. (JD)
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.
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.
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