2009 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $130)
Sinewy and reserved, with a light dusting of cocoa powder over the tangy damson plum, red licorice and cassis notes. The long, supple finish, with a lovely wafting note of Lapsang souchong tea, is packed with minerality and tight-grained tannins that will need time to fully evolve. One of the more backward 2009s, though this should pick up steam in the cellar. Best from 2013 through 2025.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 is showing better out of bottle than it was last year. Gorgeous kirsch liqueur notes, raspberry jam, forest floor, spice box, new saddle leather and a peppery spiciness are all present in this deep, voluptuously textured, open-knit Clos des Papes, which is atypically forward, luscious and approachable already. These wines often need a good 5-10 years of cellaring in the more structured vintages, but the 2009 is gorgeous from the get-go. This full-bodied, deep, concentrated wine has a deep purple color and should drink well for 20-25 years without ever really closing down. Readers may want to think of this as a slightly more concentrated version of the 2003, which is one of the great stars of that vintage.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full ruby. Intense aromas of red fruit preserves, anise, lavender and exotic spices. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering deep raspberry and cherry flavors accented by floral pastille and spice nuances. Tannins come on late and build with air, but the fruit keeps pace. Finishes firm and very long, with resonating floral and spice notes and impressive energy.