Starting with the 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reserve, this wine showed spectacularly on release, closed down for a few years, and has now emerged, at close to full maturity, and is straight-up fabulous. Out of the entire tasting, it remained my favorite. Giving up gorgeous blackberry, currants, garrigue, pepper and beef blood, it hits the palate with a massive, full-bodied texture that carries layers of sweet fruit, awesome concentration and blockbuster length. Tasting like the essence of both this estate and the terroir, it’s an incredible wine that I’m happy to taste/drink anytime. It will continue to evolve gracefully, but I see no reason to delay gratification. (JD)
*#5 on Top 100 of 2006, Highly Recommended* Offers aromas of freshly crushed plum and blackberry with a Port-like headiness, then pumps out dark berry fruit, bramble, licorice, tar and pain d'épices flavors before a flitter of game and garrigue on the finish. Dense and muscular, but also luxurious. Best from 2008 through 2030. (JM)
Dark violet color. Rich, spicy and sweet on the nose, with cherry and blackberry fruit aromas complicated by exotic Asian spices, fresh meat and espresso. This is wonderfully thick, even viscous, but the overall impression is fresh, not tiring, with deep flavors of berries, cherry, dark plum, licorice, garrigue and coffee candy. Expands and puts on weight with aeration, finishing with fully buffered, round tannins. This packs 15.5% alcohol but betrays no heat. (JR)
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