1998 Pierre Usseglio "Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The first vintage, the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul is still drinking gorgeously today. Made from roughly 80% old-vine Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault and aged in the oldest foudre in the cellar at that time, it sports a fully mature, amber/ruby color to go with classic notes of olive tapenade, tobacco leaf, cured meats, figs, sweet kirsch and assorted darker fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, sweetly fruited, voluptuous and layered, it's clearly at peak and in need of consuming, but will hold going forward for several years. Like with the classic cuvee, I don't see any upside. Still, this is a beautiful, mature Chateauneuf du Pape that's a joy to drink. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good deep red. Deep, smoky aromas of black raspberry, pepper, garrigue and spices. Silky on entry, then compellingly sweet in the middle but with strong acidity and firm minerality framing the raspberry, tobacco and roasted herb flavors. The wine's solid backbone of strong, dusty tannins give great grip to the finish. Offers an uncanny combination of sweetness and verve. This has evolved spectacularly. (ST)
Very ripe, with prune and plum. Full-bodied and soft, this traditional Châteauneuf offers leather, wet earth and roasted chestnuts. Well made and flavorful.