2003 Cuvée du Vatican "Réserve Sixtine" Châteauneuf du Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A great 2003 that is aging at a glacial pace, the 2003 Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and the rest assorted varieties. Aged in 30% new barrel and the balance in foudre, it certainly possesses a modern slant, yet easily holds on to its southern Rhone roots. Youthful and lively, with big black currant, steak tartar, white chocolate, truffle and graphite on the nose, it flows seamlessly onto the palate and deliver layers of fruit, beautiful purity and perfectly ripe tannin that emerge on the finish. Seriously well put together and endowed, it will continue to thrill for another decade. Oak adverse readers should give bottles another 2-3 years of bottle age. (JD)
*Ranked #19, Top 100 Wines of 2005* A superb core of blackberry, boysenberry and black currant fruit stands amidst cocoa, mineral, licorice and tar flavors. Densely structured but perfectly ripe, with a long finish that cascades with both fruit and terroir. Awesome for its power and balance. Best from 2007 through 2025.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby red. Explosively aromatic nose of dark cherry, red licorice, plum confiture and smoked meat. Lush and dense, with very ripe berry flavors, along with notes of licorice candy, balsamico, beef jerky and espresso. The flavors build and expand through the finish.