2011 M. Chapoutier "Croix de Bois" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby. High-pitched red berry and floral aromas show very good intensity and a sexy spicecake nuance. Juicy, penetrating and seamless, offering vibrant raspberry and cherry flavors lifted by tangy acidity. Finishes lively and long, with resonating spiciness.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
With more richness and depth, and showing the classic fruit-forward and up-front profile of the terroir, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois is 100% Grenache that comes from the southeastern part of the appellation. Loaded with notions of strawberries, kirsch, underbrush and garrigue, it has medium to full-bodied richness with a supple, fleshy and hedonistically styled feel on the palate. As with the La Bernardine, I don’t see this making old bones, yet it should provide ample pleasure for upward of a decade. Drink now-2021. While more known for his top-flight Northern Rhone efforts, Michel Chapoutier produces a bevy of brilliant Chateauneuf du Papes, as well as a number of high quality, value-priced wines from throughout the Southern Rhone (and Languedoc).Looking first at his Marius wines, these are straightforward, yet impressively made wines that offer easy-drinking. They also sell for a song and over-deliver. As to his Chateauneufs, he normally releases three cuvees, the La Bernardine being a blend and the Croix de Bois and Barbe Rac both single vineyard, 100% Grenache releases. Both 2011 and 2012 are strong here.
Glistening with ripeness and alcohol. Easy peasy but far from the most distinguished or inividualistic of Chapoutier's wines. Very angular and chewy on the end.