2011 Saint Theodoric "Le Grand Pin" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $70)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even more impressive and showing considerably better from bottle than barrel, the 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Grand Pin is a thrilling blend of 100% Grenache, from sandy soils located next to Rayas, which spent 19 months in neutral, 600-liter demi-muids. More perfumed and elegant than the La Guigasse, with beautiful kirsch liqueur, blackberry, spice-box, sappy underbrush and flowers, this medium to full-bodied beauty has gorgeous fruit, solid mid-palate depth, and an elegant, ethereal texture that flows through the lengthy finish. A candidate for the wine of the vintage (along with the La Guigasse), this awesome Chateauneuf will be better in another year or two, and drink nicely through 2023. Drink 2015-2023. A collaboration between importer Peter Weygandt and Baptiste Grangeon of Domaine du Cristia, La Chapelle Saint Theodoric focuses on 100% Grenache from sandy soils. The winemaking here is very traditional, with no destemming and aging all in older barrels. In top vintages they normally produce two site-specific bottlings (La Guigasse and Le Grand Pin), and a declassification blend that normally includes some press wine, the Les Sablons (which was not made in 2011). All three are fabulous, with the Les Sablons representing a terrific value. (JD)
A lovely perfume of singed sandalwood, black tea and mulling spice notes surrounds a core of crushed plum, raspberry and blood orange fruit. Shows a briary backdrop on the sneakily long finish. Best from 2015 through 2025.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Brilliant ruby. Fresh red berries, allspice and lavender on the nose, with smoky mineral and sandalwood nuances adding complexity. Offers intense black raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a zesty kick of blood orange on the back half. Racy and pure, with strong finishing thrust and silky, slow-building tannins. Smoothly combines power and finesse and shows very well now with an hour or so of aeration. This wine is made entirely from grenache.