A big, rich wine with huge amounts of fruit oozing out of the glass. Great concentration and intensity, with licorice flavors from the Mourvèdre, finishing with chewy tannins. A great year for this wine …
Very youthful, with a juicy blast of red plum and fig fruit flavors on a racy frame, this also has plenty of spice, tar, plum cake and mineral in reserve, as the finish shows more structure and slowly darkens with time in the glass. Only just starting to hit its stride. (JM)
The atypically Grenache-dominated 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape is fully mature and gives up tons of kirsch, garrigue, licorice and a touch of gaminess in its full-bodied, layered and ripe personality. More rounded and sexy than most vintages, it has no hard edges, plenty of mid-palate depth and a great finish. (JD)
Saturated ruby-red. Superripe but reticent, Grenache-dominated aromas of roasted plum, cherry jam, tar and humus. Fat, lush and stuffed with fruit; almost heavy today compared to the '99. But this is utterly silky and its firm underlying structure is buried by fruit and baby fat. Intriguing meat and licorice notes. A wine of superb finesse and superfine tannins. (ST)
Pale ruby – first pour very clear. Very pale rim. Light but warm, slightly charred nose with the merest hint of gaminess. Clearly tertiary aromas. Very sweet palate entry. Utterly charming and no shortage of fruit. Very long and throat-soothing (which I desperately need). Planned to accompany grouse with Ch Rayas 2005. A very good bottle. (JR) 18/20 points
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