2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape
*#1 in Top 100 Wines of 2007 & Collectibles designation* Really tight now, but packed with dark fig, currant, espresso, licorice and chocolate notes. Superfleshy but seriously structured, there's layer after layer of sweet spice, fruit and minerality pumping through the finish, with lots of latent depth and power. Far more backward than the 2003 or 2004 on release, but since this red typically puts on weight as it ages, it should be a monster--à la the 1990--when it reaches its peak.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A complex nose of resiny pine forest notes intermixed with black raspberry, sweet kirsch, licorice and lavender jumps from the glass of this deep ruby/purple-colored wine. Full-bodied, powerful, rich, and tannic, this wine begs for 4-5 years of bottle age and should keep for 25+ years. In short, you can’t go wrong with either of these vintages, although the 2006 will provide more up-front charm, and the window for drinking it will be just as long as the 2005. Patience will be required for the 2005.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep red. Explosively perfumed nose offers a profound bouquet of red and dark berries, licorice, incense and musky underbrush. Broad, palate-staining raspberry and blackcurrant flavors are enveloped in velvety tannins, with suave anise and Asian spices adding complexity. A huge but balanced-even graceful-wine, with a finish that refuses to let go of the palate.
According to Robert Parker: "This remains one of the irrefutable reference point estates for traditional Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine is always aged in a battery of foudres in the air-conditioned and humidified cellars. Vincent Avril told me that yields have been very low since 2003 at Clos des Papes, with 24 hectoliters per hectare in 2003 and 21 hectoliters per hectare in 2004, 2005, and 2006...the classic blend is 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and the rest very small percentages of Vaccarese, Counoise, and Muscardin." (10/2007)