Still relatively young tasting, the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape accents lush red fruit with hints of leather and Asian five spice powder. It's full-bodied and velvety, ripe, plush and long, a completely delicious taste experience that culminates in a lick of salted licorice. Owners should count themselves lucky to have purchased some, as this still has a decade or more of life ahead of it. As Paul-Vincent Avril said, '2009 is still a baby—decant it if you can.' (JC)
A real winter warming glass of wine, with structure and weight. Initially tight-knit, it develops in the glass to reveal ripe, fleshy fruit and a long, rich finish. It is still youthful, with plenty of potential. The blend is one-third Mourvèdre, which is high for Châteauneuf, with Grenache, a little Syrah, and tiny amounts of the other varieties, all planted together. (RG)
Sinewy and reserved, with a light dusting of cocoa powder over the tangy damson plum, red licorice and cassis notes. The long, supple finish, with a lovely wafting note of Lapsang souchong tea, is packed with minerality and tight-grained tannins that will need time to fully evolve. One of the more backward 2009s, though this should pick up steam in the cellar. Best from 2013 through 2025. (JM)
While described as masculine by Paul-Vincent (possibly due to the tannin level and quality), I found the 2009 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape to be quite elegant and almost finesse driven, showing gorgeous kirsch and licorice-laced blackberry-like fruits, Asian spice, garrigue, and floral notes on the nose, medium to full body, and a very straight, focused texture that highlights very fine grained tannin. While quite approachable now, with an almost Burgundian-like texture and density, this should ideally be given 3-4 years in the cellar, and then consumed over the following decade or longer. A resounding success in the vintage and lovers of Clos des Papes will not be disappointed.
Full ruby. Intense aromas of red fruit preserves, anise, lavender and exotic spices. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering deep raspberry and cherry flavors accented by floral pastille and spice nuances. Tannins come on late and build with air, but the fruit keeps pace. Finishes firm and very long, with resonating floral and spice notes and impressive energy. (JR)
Brick-rimmed ruby. Fine complexity of leather and spice and still with lovely cherry fruit and just a touch bloody. Dry in texture and leathery on the palate. Slimmed down compared with the 2011 but all in balance still. Lots of spice – even the tannins seem spicy and still have a definite leathery grip. Sour-fresh finish and real freshness and persistence. 17.5/20 points (JH)
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