I know this will sound weird, but when I finally saw which wine took this year's top honor from Wine Spectator's editors, I got really excited. The reason, you see, is that I have been indulging in Chateauneuf du Pape for about the past month, AND several months ago I bought a ton of it from various vineyards. And wouldn't you know, of the 20 or so bottles I bought, I only bought a measly 3 bottles of the wine that Wine Spectator has just given it's highest honor to. I haven't tried it yet, but will now and I can assure you that come Monday there will be some tasting notes on this blog.
Note to all of you, if you've never tried a Chateauneuf du Pape, I highly recommend it. It's also important to note that this is the second Chateauneuf du Pape to make the top 10...so trust me you'll want to get your hands on some of this yum yum.
Check back on Monday for my tasting notes, as well as some others...I'm attending a dinner tomorrow night, and will try to get note from other folks, from novice to experienced wine drinkers.
Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005 - 98 points - $80
Here's what Wine Spectator had to say about this beauty:
In the Southern Rhône's recent trio of great vintages starting with 2003, no other Châteauneuf-du-Pape domaine has produced better wines than Clos des Papes. Under Vincent Avril, quality has improved steadily, and the 2003 (97 points) was Wine Spectator's No. 2 wine in 2005.
At 98 points, the 2005 is Avril's best wine yet, displaying an enormous core of fruit and minerality along with massive structure. The Clos des Papes red (the estate also produces a white) is a blend of 65 percent Grenache, 20 percent Mourvèdre, 10 percent Syrah and other grapes from 74 acres of vines around Châteauneuf. Avril keeps yields low, picks vineyard blocks separately for ideal ripeness and vinifies the destemmed grapes in ceramic-lined vats. The wine is aged in large wooden foudres
for up to 12 months before the final blend is assembled.
This is really tight now, but it's packed with dark fig, currant, espresso, licorice and chocolate notes. Superfleshy but seriously structured, there's layer after layer of sweet spice, fruit and minerality pumping through the finish, with lots of latent depth and power. Far more backward than the 2003 and 2004 on release, but considering this typically puts on weight as it ages, it should be a monster--à la the 1990--when it reaches its peak. Best from 2009 through 2030. 7,500 cases made. –JM