2005 Tardieu-Laurent "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
**Highly Recommended** Still shrouded by its bacony toast, this has a lot to resolve, but the massive core of blackberry, black currant, fig, loam, dark tobacco and molten chocolate is very impressive. The finish shows the grip and balance of the vintage, boding well for serious cellaring. Best from 2009 through 2032.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes (90% Grenache and equal parts Mourvedre and Syrah) comes primarily from the famed sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape known as La Crau. This is a beautiful wine that is more elegant than the regular Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with raspberry and kirsch liqueur notes, a deep ruby color, finesse, acidity, and ripe tannin. It seems to be a terroir-based statement of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that cuts a style midway between the traditionalists and the modernists. This wine will need several years of bottle age, and should drink nicely for 15 or more years. Introduced first in 2001, Michel Tardieu makes a traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape from 100% Grenache and 100% stems. He believes the wine needs at least 5-7 years of bottle age and then is meant to last 25-30 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark ruby. Ripe, youthfully brooding dark fruit flavors are slow to unfold, eventually giving up floral blackberry and blueberry notes and a dollop of licorice. Spicy cherry and blackberry flavors are a touch bitter and tannic but gain sweetness on the finish, reluctantly. This needs cellaring.