1998 Chateau de La Gardine "Cuvee Generations" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A candidate for one of the most backward wines of the vintage, and still needing probably 8-10 more years of cellaring, the Brunel family tends to make this cuvee to age as well as a top Bordeaux. It is one of the exceptions to the rule in Chateauneuf du Pape. The 1998 has a dark plum/ruby/purple color, with notes of graphite, chocolate, espresso roast, black berry, and cassis. Aromatically, one doesn’t see much Chateauneuf du Pape character, but the oak has been totally absorbed, the wine is full-bodied, and I suspect more and more typicity will evolve as it hits its adolescent state. Forget it for another 3-5 years, as this is a wine capable of lasting 30+ years.
This is ultra everything--ultrablack, ultrathick, ultrasmooth, ultrabig--but it works. With tar, petrol and superextracted black fruit, it tastes velvety and balanced, not at all heavy or new oakish.