The 2009 Les Cailloux is a classically built Châteauneuf that should age well through at least 2025. The blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah and 3% Cinsault starts off with lovely notes of wild thyme and dark fruit, then adds herbal complexity and chocolaty richness. It's full bodied yet firm, with some dusty but elegant tannins on the finish. It's excellent now, but will be even better in 2016 and beyond. *Editors' Choice* (JC)
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blockbuster. Deep ruby-colored and a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the rest other permitted varieties, it offers up a big, sweet bouquet of kirsch, blackberries, ground herbs, pepper and licorice. Full-bodied, textured and layered, it has terrific fruit intensity, no hard edges and a great finish. Drink this hedonistic beauty anytime over the coming decade or more. (JD)
Deep ruby. Pungent, spice-accented aromas of red berry preserves, cherry and candied flowers. Sweet, pure and incisive, offering bright raspberry and lavender flavors and a deeper note of bitter cherry. Finishes with excellent focus and length, leaving spice and floral notes behind. The superb 2007 Cuvee Centenaire, which I had the chance to try again in December, is a remarkably lithe and elegant wine for the vintage and is balanced to age--no small feat for a wine from this ripe, often outsized year. (JR)
Bright and juicy, this is still quite primal, with ebullient cassis, linzer torte and blackberry fruit pumping out, before more serious tar and ganache flavors harness the back end. There's a good juicy feel through the finish. This should settle in nicely in the cellar. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Best from 2014 through 2024. (JM)
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