2003 Les Cailloux (Lucien & Andre Brunel) "Cuvée Centenaire" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The limited production but exquisite 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire is a riper, more concentrated version of the 2000 Centenaire. There are about 500 cases of this Grenache-dominated wine produced from a vineyard planted in 1889 with some Syrah and Mourvedre (about 20%) added to the blend. The latter components are aged in small barrels. The wine has a dense ruby/purple-tinged color to the rim, a strikingly pure nose of kirsch liqueur, creme de cassis, and hints of vanilla and espresso. Hitting the palate with full-throttle opulence, superb concentration, fabulous purity, and striking multiple levels of raspberries and black cherry jam, this is a beautifully full-bodied, brilliantly concentrated and structured wine that reveals sweet but abundant tannin and a finish that goes on for close to a minute. I still think the two greatest Centenaires made to date have been the 1990 and 1998, but this one is close in quality. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2020+.