A stunning, profound wine, the 2005 Les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire, a blend of 80% Grenache and the rest a mix of Mourvèdre and Syrah, delivers spectacular aromatics of kirsch, garrigue, roasted meats, and licorice that soar from the glass. Absurdly perfumed, complex and a touch exotic on the nose, the wine is full bodied on the palate with a seamless, thick, sexy texture, perfect balance and a blockbuster finish that highlights silky tannin and decadent fruit. Surprisingly accessible (especially for the vintage), it will be interesting to see if this evolves along the same lines as the 1990 Cuvée Centenaire, which is drinking beautifully today and has lots of life left. I questioned both Andre Brunel and Philippe Cambie on this during my last tasting trip to Châteauneuf, and both stated that the ’90 showed similar at the same stage. If history is any guide, this should have a very long drink window. Regardless, a superb, benchmark wine that any southern Rhone lover should have in the cellar.
A big, rich and ripe wine, the tiny production 2005 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Centenaire (80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah) comes all from the Farguerol lieu-dit that’s located in the northwestern sector of the appellation. It offers a smorgasbord of Provencal aromas and flavors, with tons of sweet kirsch, roasted herbs, beef blood, black licorice and garrigue soaring from the glass. Full-bodied, voluptuous and downright sexy, with no hard edges and a seamless style, this is one hedonistic and gorgeous Châteauneuf du Pape to drink anytime over the coming 5-6 years. (JD)
Richly layered, with currant paste, Black Forest cake, espresso, mesquite, date and incense notes. Ripe and lush, this is far more supple than most of its 2005 peers. The finish is long and dense, but very silky, with lingering notes of macerated fruit and black tea. (JM)
Ruby-red. Potent red berry and kirsch on the nose, with exotic floral, mineral and game notes adding complexity. Seductively sweet, with deep but admirably focused flavors of raspberry, bitter cherry and blackcurrant. Supple tannins build through the finish. More closed than it was from barrel last year, but this wine possesses incredible depth and power, and picks up a remarkably seductive minerality with air. Don't touch this for at least five more years. (JR) 95+
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