2007 Tardieu-Laurent "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
96 points Wine Spectator: "This is crammed with a massive core of blueberry compote, braised fig and mulled blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors, all wound up with graphite tannins and backed by a strong, iron-filled spine. This has serious depth and drive, with gorgeous mocha and espresso aromatics flittering throughout. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2010 through 2024." (11/09) 92-94 points Robert Parker: "The 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is fashioned from old vine Grenache (90%) and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre, the last two components aged in new oak. The fruit comes from parcels on La Crau, Solitude, and Mont-Olivet. The wine exhibits that sweet white chocolate character that Grenache sometimes displays, along with a deep ruby/purple color, super intensity, and plenty of red and black fruit, garrigue, and grilled meat notes. A quintessential example of Provence, drink it over the next 15-20 years." (10/09) 91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque purple. Intensely perfumed, spicy aromas of blackberry, kirsch, Asian spices and smoky herbs. Sappy dark berry flavors are firmed by dusty tannins, gaining sweetness with air. The red fruit note returns on the impressively long, gently tannic finish." (Jan/Feb '09) ETA: Late-December 2009.