The star of the show in 2005 is the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes. The second vintage for the cuvee, it's made from the oldest Grenache vines of the estate (80- to 100-year-old vines) and is raised in a combination of mostly used barrels. Inky colored, it has sensational notes of plums, blackberries, garrigue, violet and spice-box. These carry to a full-bodied, sexy and straight-up hedonistic wine that has tons of fruit, sweet tannin and a massive finish. This is a ripe, exuberant, blockbuster Grenache that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade or more. (JD)
Very fleshy and flamboyant, with well-rounded boysenberry confiture, fig paste and crushed currant flavors laced with fruitcake, red and black licorice and aged tobacco notes. The long finish has the dense grip of the vintage, with great drive as well. Grenache. Best from 2010 through 2030. (JM, Web Only-2009)
Opaque purple. Explosively perfumed nose offers an exotic array of ripe dark berry preserve, incense and mineral scents. Flavors of cherry-vanilla and creme de framboise are deep, sweet and chewy, with the finish showing youthful tannic grip. Fans of restraint might not dig it but this is showing plenty of seductive charm today. (JR)
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