Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois, which comes from the Bedarrides sector of Chateauneuf du Pape, reveals flamboyant aromas of licorice, Christmas fruitcake, loamy soil, black cherries, black currants and raspberries. This spicy, peppery, earthy, exotic, full-bodied, super-rich 2010 is slightly more structured than the superb 2009. It begs for several years of cellaring, and should drink well for 15 or more. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby. A heady, seductive bouquet evokes black raspberry and cherry liqueur, potpourri and allspice, with a bright mineral overtone. Shows impressive clarity and energy, offering penetrating dark berry and floral pastille flavors that gain weight with air. Spreads out on the finish, which features soft tannins and a whiplash of sweet dark fruit. This wine was raised entirely in concrete.
Dark crimson. Very sweet and round. Super-juicy fruit with extra intensity and a bit more smoothness than the average Tradition bottling. Fresh finish.
Robert Parker offers a bit of background on this effort: "While the firm of Chapoutier is justifiably renowned for their northern Rhone wines and, increasingly, their projects in Australia, Portugal and the Languedoc-Roussillon (more on those wines later), they have some important holdings in Chateauneuf du Pape. Furthermore, they do a good job with their negociant offerings from growers who farm their vineyards biodynamically, a prerequisite for any grapes or wine purchased by Chapoutier. Two luxury cuvees are from two old vineyards, Croix de Bois which is near Bedarrides on the eastern side of the appellation, and Barbe Rac, in the western sector. ...Chapoutier loves the minerality and acid levels that were achieved in his biodynamically farmed vineyards in 2010. He said that after seven or eight years of biodynamic viticulture, he notices the pHs going down and the total acids in the vineyards going up, a positive." 15% abv.
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