2000 Pierre Usseglio "Réserve des Deux Frères" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $180)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Deux Freres, which has been one of the winners in several blind tastings, is a candidate for "wine of the vintage." Sadly, there are only 5,000 bottles. The wine emerges from the estate's oldest vines, and is aged in old barrels. This blend of 95% Grenache and 5% Cinsault tips the scales at a whopping 15.8% alcohol. Its inky purple color is accompanied by succulent aromas of blackberry, cherry, and raspberry liqueur interwoven with licorice, mineral, and acacia flower characteristics. Fabulously concentrated and full-bodied, with a voluptuous texture, sweet tannin, and a flamboyant and accessible personality, this prodigious, majestic Chateauneuf du Pape needs to be tasted to be believed. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Knockout sappy aromas of cassis, black cherry, raspberry, violet, smoke, truffle and dark chocolate, with a freshening note of oak spice; has a roasted ripeness but comes across as more vibrant than the Mon Aieul. Huge, lush and thick but almost magically bright, with liqueur-like flavors of dark fruits and game. A wonderfully rich, sappy Chateauneuf with great lift, grip and length. The huge but smooth tannins coat the entire palate.