1998 M. Chapoutier "Croix de Bois" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium red. Deep, complex, musky aromas of strawberry liqueur, milk chocolate and earth; superripe and nuanced. Huge wine of compelling richness and depth, but with enough supporting acidity to keep it from going over the top. Completely expressive grenache flavors of plum liqueur and pepper. Finishes with big, lush tannins and palate-saturating flavor.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois (the debut vintage for this wine) has plenty of peppery, seaweed, and garrigue notes intermixed with black cherry, licorice, and smoke. It is almost wildly Provencal in its personality and could be nothing but a Southern Rhone aromatically or flavor-wise. Full-bodied and fully mature, this wine needs to be drunk over the next 5-6 years.