2003 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The powerful 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape comes closest in character to the 1990 (which is still drinking beautifully). Its dark ruby/plum/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of resiny pine forest interwoven with creme de cassis, black cherries, melted licorice, and smoky herbs. In the mouth, gamy, meaty flavors emerge along with black currants, cherries, and a hint of the sushi wrapper called nori. Full, rich, and moderately tannic, this 2003 requires another 1-3 years of bottle age, and should keep for 12-15 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red. Sweet, exotic aromas of blackberry, cassis, molasses, bitter chocolate and dried flowers. Richly textured and dense, offering ripe dark berry flavors and nuances of floral pastilles and dark chocolate. A fat, unctuous wine that also boasts excellent purity of fruit and length, with soft, rounded tannins.
Hard as nails now, this is packed with ultraripe plum and blackberry fruit all supported by brawny, muscular tannins that romp through a licorice- and tar-filled finish. May be ferocious for some, but those who sock it away in the cellar will be rewarded. Best from 2008 through 2025.
Deep crimson. Very, very rich and layered - almost animal. Confident, powerful, rich with a juicy start. Masses of ripe fruit on the front palate. Big, burly classic Châteauneuf with rather a hot finish. (18+/20)