2011 M. Chapoutier "Barbe Rac" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Slightly deeper in color, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac is a superb success in the vintage. Offering surprising richness and depth, with a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated feel on the palate, it offers copious black cherry, leather, ground pepper and minerality on the nose. As with the other cuvees, it is a forward, fleshy vintage for the cuvee, yet it possesses fine tannin, terrific mid-palate depth and an all-around balanced, harmonious feel that should allow it to age gracefully. Enjoy it over the coming decade. Drink now-2023. While more known for his top-flight Northern Rhone efforts, Michel Chapoutier produces a bevy of brilliant Chateauneuf du Papes, as well as a number of high quality, value-priced wines from throughout the Southern Rhone (and Languedoc).Looking first at his Marius wines, these are straightforward, yet impressively made wines that offer easy-drinking. They also sell for a song and over-deliver. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Opaque ruby. Seductively perfumed aromas of spicy red berries, cherry-cola, blood orange, lavender and incense. Sappy spice- and mineral-accented red fruit flavors show palate-coating concentration but no excess fat. Gains energy on the impressively long, mineral-dominated finish, which is firmed by silky, even tannins.
Mid ruby. Actually paler than the Croix du Bois. Sweet and opulent and hedonistic. Quite soft. Very much wants to be liked! Fine tannins. Very forward with lots of spice. 17.5/20 points.