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A Pair of Knockout Vintages from Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 11/13/2017 - Rhone Valley

Domaine des Sénéchaux has long been among the most highly regarded Châteauneuf producers, but with the purchase of the estate in 2006 by Jean-Michel Cazes, things really shifted into high gear. Cazes, the owner of the Bordeaux estate Lynch-Bages, has a reputation of crafting wines that count among the world’s best. Given this, we knew to expect great things when Sénéchaux came under his umbrella. Not insignificantly, Domaine des Sénéchaux has access to some of the most coveted sites in the region. This, coupled with Cazes’s winemaking prowess, has resulted in wines of the highest order. Featured here are two back vintages from this estate and we aren’t exaggerating one iota when we say they are absolute blockbusters. While finesse is a term oft applied to the wines of Sénéchaux, they are by no means shrinking violets. On the contrary, as with any top tier Châteauneuf-du-Pape, they offer a cascading array of dark fruit, bramble, and exotic spice. Given the estate’s illustrious pedigree, one could easily expect to pay north of $80, but remarkably both vintages here are priced well below that mark. Scroll below to learn why the critics were so impressed.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2010 Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 >48 $49.99 View
2012 Domaine des Senechaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape 93 >48 $36.99 View
2005 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 >36 $69.99 View
2007 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) 96 45 $49.99 View
2010 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) 96 43 $49.99 View
2012 Domaine Olivier Hillaire "Les Petits Pieds d'Armand" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 >36 $89.99 View
2012 Domaine du Pégaü "Cuvée Laurence" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 >36 $89.99 View
2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape 93 38 $39.99 View
2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) 97 >36 $54.99 View
2005 Domaine du Pégaü "Cuvée Reservée" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 95 24 $89.99 View
2007 Château Simian "Les Grandes Grenachieres d'Hippolyte" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $140) 98 0 Price: Hidden View
2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) 96 22 $54.99 View
2009 Domaine Pierre Usseglio "Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 16 $59.99 View
2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape 92 15 $44.99 View
2001 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 7 $119.99 View
2009 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 10 $99.99 View
2010 Pierre Usseglio "Cuvée de Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 10 $139.99 View
2005 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Vieilles Vignes" 97 5 $189.99 View
2009 Henri Bonneau "Réserve des Célestins" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 96 8 Price: Hidden View
2005 Pierre Usseglio "Reserve des Deux Freres" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 97 7 $129.99 View
2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Chateau Beaucastel (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) 96 6 $199.99 View
2007 Domaine de Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 4 $109.99 View


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2010 Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($49.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Made from an identical blend, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is a hedonistic Chateauneuf du Pape fruit bomb. Super-rich with layers of glycerin and fruit, this full-bodied classic smells like a Provencal open-air fruit and vegetable market. Loaded with slightly blacker fruits than its 2011 counterpart, there are also hints of charcuterie, spice box, cedar and Christmas fruitcake in this full-throttle, rich, concentrated wine. Drink it over the next 12-15+ years. This nearly 65-acre estate is owned by the famous and much loved Bordeaux proprietor, Jean-Michel Cazes. To say that he and his family have done a terrific job improving the quality at this estate is an understatement as it has become one of the go to wines of the appellation since Cazes purchased the property in late 2006. Their vineyard holdings are located in several top terroirs, particularly Le Grand Pierre, Les Reves and Bois Senechaux. (RP)" (10/2012)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Dense and sappy, with lots of kirsch, blackberry cobbler, plum paste and braised fig notes, lined with roasted apple wood, black tea and anise. The long finish has ample grip, but it's well-embedded, leaving a concentrated yet polished feel. A strong showing for this quietly improving domaine. Best from 2015 through 2030. (JM, Web-2013)"

92 points Vinous: "Vivid ruby. Intense raspberry and cherry aromas are given an exotic touch by notes of black tea, smoked meat and dried lavender. Full and plush, with sweet red berry compote flavors and sneaky spiciness. A pliant, polished wine that marries power and finesse, finishing with impressive length and lingering smokiness. (JR)" (01/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre. Honest, meaty Grenache character. Minty, succulent, rich but not overbearing. Spicy finish, lots of dried herb complexity. Long, peppery finish. Pushes all the right buttons. (RH)" (06/2013)

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2012 Domaine des Senechaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($36.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another rocking wine from this team, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape doesnt disappoint and gives up loads of kirsch, cassis, licorice, meat juice, licorice and roasted herbs. Made from a blend of mostly Grenache, with Syrah and Mourvedre that was brought up in foudre, barrels and concrete, its a fruit-filled, medium to full-bodied, seamless and beautifully Provencal effort to drink over the coming decade. (JD)" (10/2014)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Dark and winey, with a lovely mouthfeel to the layers of raspberry coulis, plum sauce and blackberry confiture, supported by alluring graphite and licorice notes. The long, tarry-edged finish opens nicely in the glass. Drink now through 2022. (JM)" (10/2014)

91 points Vinous: "Opaque ruby. Aromas of ripe blackberry and candied flowers show good clarity and spicy lift. Supple, sweet and seamless, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of cola. Fine-grained tannins shape the long, floral finish of this rich yet lively wine. (JR)" (04/2015)

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2005 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($69.99)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Taking the better part of the evening to open up, the 2005 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a brilliant wine that needs another 2-3 years of bottle age to really show all it has. Still inky and purple to the rim, this beauty shows fresh, clean aromatics of licorice-laced plum and blackberry styled fruit thats intermixed with notions of graphite, mineral, and crushed flowers. Full-bodied, dense, and structured on the palate, with edgy acidity, ripe tannin, and a mineral-drenched finish, this gorgeous Châteauneuf-du-Pape should be given another 3-4 years of bottle age, and then consumed over the following decade. (JebDunnuck.com)" (06/2012)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The most masculine and structured of the group, the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape is locked and loaded, with serious concentration, big tannin and no shortage of length on the finish. Coming from a year that featured a cool summer and then scorching temps around harvest, this beauty doles out loads of creme de cassis, licorice, graphite and crushed rock-like minerality, as well as a seamless, perfectly balanced profile. Give it another 2-3 years and drink it through 2025. (JD)" (08/2014)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Showing beautifully, with intense fig, black currant and boysenberry fruit and dark chocolate, date bread, spice and mineral notes. This is both powerful and pure at the same time, with a superlong finish. Seriously structured. Drink now through 2030. (JM)" (11/2007)

93 points Vinous: "Inky ruby. Ripe, powerful boysenberry and blueberry aromas are deepened by musky tobacco and dark chocolate. Weighty dark berry flavors verge on thick; initially brooding but brightens with air, picking up an energetic, stony character. Red fruits build on a long, sappy finish. A serious style, and not for those who demand elegance. (JR) 93+" (01/2008)

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2007 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) ($49.99)

96+ points Robert Parker: "The 2007 Vieux Telegraphe may be the greatest wine made at this property since the 2005 and 1998. Dense ruby/purple-tinged with an exquisite nose of salty sea breezes, licorice, ground pepper, jammy black cherries, black currants, figs, and plums, this is a full-bodied, rich, Provencal-styled offering with lots of sweet, ripe tannin. It is surprisingly accessible for a Vieux Telegraphe (this wine normally shuts down several years after bottling), but it should have great longevity (25+ years) given its power, full-bodied mouthfeel, and enormous length and richness. This is a brilliant effort from brothers Frederic and Daniel Brunier." (10/09) 95 points and #3 on the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2009: "Packed, in a brawny, muscular style atypical for this lush vintage, with a gravelly undertow to the currant paste, braised fig and dark licorice notes. Picks up even more steam on the finish, with grilled mesquite, mineral and garrigue notes and a long, hot stone-filled finish. Best from 2010 through 2030." 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "lass-staining ruby. Highly pungent bouquet offers black fruit compote, olive and floral qualities, along with a slightly high-toned quality that recedes with air. The palate-coating, deeply concentrated cassis and blackberry flavors display a slow-mounting spiciness. Pretty powerful for a wine from this estate..." (Jan/Feb 10)

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2010 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) ($49.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "As good, if not better, than the stunning 07, the 2010 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau is a knockout effort that will delight traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape lovers. Its ruby/semi-opaque color is followed by a sumptuous, savory bouquet of ground pepper, rolled stone and oyster shell like minerality, seaweed, and garrigue thats anchored by a vibrant core of sweet red fruits. Full-bodied, textured, fresh, and with chewy, ripe tannin on the finish, this will not be a wine for instant gratification and needs a solid 5-6 years of bottle age; it should keep for upwards of three decades. 96+" (09/2012)

96 points Wine Spectator: "Coated with unctuous linzer torte, warm plum sauce and pure cassis fruit flavors, while notes of maduro tobacco, mint, green fig and toasted anise flitter throughout. This is lush and dense, but well-harnessed through the finish, with a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note and lingering fresh acidity. Best from 2014 through 2030. (JM)" (11/2012)

94 points Vinous: "Vivid ruby. Intense red fruit and floral aromas are complicated by notes of anise, allspice and minerals. Sappy and incisive on the palate, offering pliant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and an exotic lavender pastille quality. Becomes livelier and spicier with air and finishes with supple tannins, outstanding clarity and noteworthy persistence. (JR)" (01/2013)

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2012 Domaine Olivier Hillaire "Les Petits Pieds d'Armand" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($89.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of my favorite wines, and up there with the top dozen or so efforts in the vintage, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Petits Pieds dArmand comes all from sandy soils and old vines planted in the famed La Crau lieu-dit. Full-bodied, voluptuous and layered, it doesnt pull any punches, yet never seems over-the-top, heavy or cumbersome. Giving up notes of garrigue, sugared spice, blackberry, black cherry liqueur and spring flowers, its already drinking beautifully, but will continue to shine through 2024 at a minimum. (JD)" (10/2014)

93 points Vinous: "Dark purple. Heady aromas of candied dark berries, incense and licorice complicated by suggestions of vanilla, potpourri and five-spice powder. Lush, deeply flavored and broad, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors and an exotic floral pastille nuance. Finishes supple, spicy and extremely long, with resonating sweetness, a hint of licorice and smooth, suave tannins. This sexy wine is pretty appealing right now but has the depth and energy for cellaring. (JR)" (04/2015)

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2012 Domaine du Pégaü "Cuvée Laurence" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($89.99)

96 points Wine Spectator: "A throwback style and proud of it, with warm chestnut and bay leaf notes taking the lead, followed quickly by worn leather and smoldering tobacco accents. The core of dark currant, warmed cherry and mulled blackberry lies in reserve for now, while the finish lets singed iron and brick dust details hold sway. Just wait for everything to pull together in the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2032. (JM)" (03/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Pegau's Cuvée Laurence is aged in wood for longer than the Cuvée Resérvée, but is otherwise nearly identical. The 2012 version is full-bodied, dense and richly textured, redolent of liniment, horse tack and garrigue, yet backed by ample cherry and plum fruit. Drink now2025. (JC)" (05/2017)

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2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($39.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The classic-styled 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape exhibits plenty of kirsch, Christmas fruitcake, pepper, spice box, smoked herbs and loads of raspberry and black cherry fruit. It is a full-bodied, slightly more reserved and less exuberant effort than the 2007 was at a similar age. It will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and last for 10-15 years. " (10/2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby. Aromas and flavors of raspberry, bitter cherry, licorice and candied flowers. Becomes smokier with air and picks up a licorice nuance. Fleshy but lively, with strong finishing punch, lingering floral and spice notes and slow-building tannins." (02/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "90% Grenache, 10% Syrah. 20,000 bottles. Direct, bright, very ripe cranberry fruit. Suave, velvety texture. Lots of tannin but the fruit almost covers it." (12/2011)

K&L Notes: 16% abv.

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2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) ($54.99)

97 points Vinous: "(based on 70% mourvedre) Opaque ruby color. Remarkably complex bouquet of dark berry compote, potpourri, sandalwood, smoked meat and licorice, complemented by a smoky mineral overtone. Broad, palate-coating dark fruit flavors pick up notes of candied flowers and licorice with air and show a pungent Indian spice character. Becomes more floral with air and leaves sweet cherry and floral pastille notes behind. I'd buy all of this that I could afford. (JR)" (01/2010)

96 points Wine Spectator: "This extremely dense red delivers layers of melted fig, mulled boysenberry and black currant fruit, all laced with notes of charred mesquite, hoisin sauce and Kenya AA coffee. The long, silky mouthfeel belies the latent power in reserveand there's a lot of it, with waves of grip driving the finish. Best from 2010 through 2030. 15,000 cases made. (JM)" (12/2009)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A straight up, phenomenal wine, this bottle of 2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape was double decanted (poured into a decanter and then back into the bottle) 12 hours prior to drinking and boasted gorgeous aromatics (blackberry, cassis, lavender, garrigue and roasted meat), full bodied power, serious concentration and unreal purity. Very polished and almost civilized by Beaucastel standards, this beauty should drink beautifully for 3 decades. Wow. 96+" (08/2010)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beaucastels 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape has turned out even better out of bottle than I predicted. An inky/ruby/purple color is followed by a glorious nose of blue and black fruits, truffles, pen ink, licorice, and meat juices as well as glorious levels of acidity and sweet tannin, buttressing the fruits fabulous freshness and vibrancy. This full-bodied effort still displays considerable tannin, no doubt because of the relatively high Mourvedre content. It should resolve its tannins in 2-4 years, and last for 25 or more. (RP)" (10/2009)

2005 Domaine du Pégaü "Cuvée Reservée" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) ($89.99)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep ruby. Seductive dark berry and kirsch aromas are complicated by musky garrigue, black olive and dark chocolate. Dense blackberry and bitter cherry flavors stain the palate and develop a licorice character with air. Tightens up on the long, chewy finish, which is dominated by tangy red berry fruit. This hugely concentrated wine deftly combines liveliness and power." (02/2008)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Shows gutsy blackberry and fig fruit up front, with notes of pepper, licorice, Turkish coffee and garrigue. The superlong finish lets roasted herb and beef notes check in, while gaining even more depth as this airs. Not quite as much range as 2003 and 2004, but has the intense grip of the vintage and should cruise in the cellar for two decades. Best from 2009 through 2028." (06/2008)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee (normally a blend of approximately 80% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre) exhibits a deep ruby/plum/garnet hue along with lots of grilled meat juices, roasted Provencal herbs, tar, blackberries and black currants. The wine is medium to full-bodied, still firm and tannic. It is those tannins that make the 2005 somewhat reminiscent of a tight, more austere-styled vintage such as 1995. The 2005 needs at least another 4-5 years of cellaring, and should last for 20 years or more." (10/2010)

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2007 Château Simian "Les Grandes Grenachieres d'Hippolyte" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Previously $140) - 0 available Price: Hidden

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An astonishing effort, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Grandes Grenachieres comes from a combination of Grenache vines planted in 1880, and younger vines planted in 1948. An incredible sleeper of the vintage to the extent anyone can find any of the 350 or so cases produced, it boasts a dense ruby/purple color in addition to an awesome aromatic display of spring flowers, sweet black raspberries and black cherries, and forest floor. The wine possesses amazing density and richness, yet flows across the palate like a delicate ballerina. This incredibly old vine material has an intensity, substance, and palate penetration that is nearly beyond belief, yet the wine never comes across as heavy. The purity, depth, and 60-second finish are to die for. As the last five words of my tasting note said, 'Where can I find any' This amazing Chateauneuf du Pape should drink well for two decades or more. (RP)" (10/2009)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Glass-staining ruby. An expressive, alluring bouquet of raspberry, rose petal, Asian spices and minerals. Supple, silky and restrained, with seductive sweetness to the red berry and cherry flavors. Spreads out on the back while retaining energy and focus. The long finish features lingering sweetness and subtle notes of flowers and minerals. (JR)" (02/2010)

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2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml) ($54.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Showing consistently with the barrel review, the 2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the remainder an assortment of varieties) is a classic Beaucastel that has both richness and elegance. Showing loads of black cherry, new leather, licorice, pepper, and hints of flowers on the nose, this full-bodied, structured, yet surprisingly elegant and polished 2010 has fantastic purity of fruit, superb balance, and knockout length. Showing more and more structure with air, this needs 3-5 years of bottle age, and should evolve gracefully for upwards of two decades or more." (09/2012)

96 points Wine Spectator: "Dark, dense and very closed now, this has a tremendous core of crushed plum, linzer torte and blackberry confiture waiting in reserve. Ample singed cedar and mesquite, warm paving stone and black tea notes lurk in the background and glide through the finish. Features serious grip, but wonderful integration. Should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2016 through 2035. 7,500 cases made. (JM)" (10/2013)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Interestingly enough, even though many of the 2010 Perrin et Fils selections from the southern Rhone were scheduled to be bottled right after my visit, the 2010 Beaucastel had already been put in bottle. This is a gorgeous wine, a classic blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the balance the other permitted varietals in the appellation. Deep purple, with loads of bouquet garni, beef blood, blackberry, kirsch, smoke and truffle, this wine is full-bodied, rich and showing even better than it did last year. I still think it needs 3-5 years of cellaring, and it should last for 25-30 years, as most of the top vintages of Beaucastel do. 2015-2045 (RP)" (10/2012)

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2009 Domaine Pierre Usseglio "Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($59.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another wine that got better and better over the evening was the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul. I've drunk through my fair share of bottles of this over the past few years. It has never shut down and has always shown well. A ripe, forward and sexy wine, it has lots of kirsch, garrigue, exotic spice and floral notes to go with a ripe, concentrated feel on the palate. It certainly has the vintage's Provencal character and is an exuberant, hedonistic Grenache to enjoy over the coming 10-12 years. (JD)" (09/2015)

93 points Vinous: "Full ruby. Intense black raspberry and mulberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of Asian spices, licorice and musky herbs. Bright and sappy on the palate, with a seamless texture to the spice-accented red and dark berry compote flavors. Notes of lavender and allspice carry through the long, juicy, nicely focused finish. I suspect that this wine will drink well on the young side. (JR)" (01/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator: "This ripe red offers layers of linzer torte, cassis and blackberry fruit piled on top of well-rounded tannins. Loads of spice and licorice ripple through the finish, with an underlying iron hint. Shows the focus and polish of the vintage. Best from 2012 through 2020. (JM)" (11/2011)

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2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($44.99)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Taut and reserved for now, with red plum and red currant notes held back by sinewy tannins and a racy minerality. Has solid length, and the flesh should fill out with cellaring. Best from 2008 through 2022." (10/2007)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The classic 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape is a beautiful wine that offers lots of ripe blackberry, toasted spice, olive and garrigue to go with a full, fleshy, Provençal style on the palate. Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and 5% Mourvèdre, it spent 12 months in 80% foudre and 20% barrel. Drink this classic traditional cuvee anytime over the coming 4-6 years. (JD)" (02/2015)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Strikingly fresh aromas of vibrant strawberry and cherry, gaining depth and ripeness with air. The darker fruits continue onto the palate, which is brightened by a spicy blood orange quality. Finishes with excellent snap and drive, especially for a 'basic' bottling. This has gained richness since last year but not at the expense of vivacity." (01/2008)

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2001 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 7 available ($119.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The classically styled 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape has plenty of the telltale kirsch and sweet spice notes that always seem to be present in Avril's wines. Showing more mature notes of truffle, olive, licorice and garrigue as it sat in the glass, it's medium to full-bodied, elegant and balanced, with a great texture and finish. It has solid mid-palate depth, as well as sweet tannin, so, while there's no harm enjoying bottles today, it has another decade of longevity. (JD)" (09/2015)

94 points Wine Spectator: "This has hit its second phase with beautiful definition, showing hints of Lapsang souchong tea, roasted apple wood and juniper, joined by singed bay leaf, mulled blackberry and black currant fruit and a long, spice box-infused finish. As graceful and restrained as this is, it still has the reserve tank and balance for extended aging. --2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape non-blind retrospective (November 2011). Drink now through 2022. (Web Only-2012)"

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good full red. Complex, vibrant nose melds raspberry, blood orange, duck confit, tree bark and toasted hazelnut. Dense, sappy and penetrating, with superb inner-mouth energy. Very spicy, sharply delineated wine with an almost Burgundian texture. Finishes with building, sweet flavors of raspberry, cherry and strawberry, a saline suggestion of extract, and terrific persistence. This wine clearly benefitted from the high quality of mourvedre in 2001." (02/2004)

Jancis Robinson: "The bouquet of this wine is so intense, I smelt it from very far away from the glass. In fact it was amazingly burgundian: sweet and perfumed, elegant, like a particularly luscious Côte de Nuits. Beautifully satin-like texture. 18.5/20 points. Drink to 2022." (11/2009)

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2009 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 10 available ($99.99)

96 points Wine Spectator: "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. (JM)" (11/2011)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Considered by Paul-Vincent to be a hypothetical blend of the '05 and the '07, the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing its Mourvedre component on this occasion and had lots of kirsch, spice-box, dried flowers, Provencal garrigue and cured meat on the nose. Full-bodied, ripe and voluptuous, yet still showing the telltale elegance and seamlessness that's the hallmark of this great estate, it can be enjoyed today or cellared for another decade or more. (JD)" (09/2015)

95 points Vinous: "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. (JR)" (01/2012)

Jancis Robinson: "A bit of liquorice and leather on the nose but wonderful richness on the palate, glorious breadth and the tannins are nowhere to be seen! Majestic. Great power but no beast, early signs are very good indeed. Structure and fine tannins, lightly leathery, starts to close a little on the end but its really a miracle of improvement over the five lovely ingredients. 19/20 points" (10/2010)

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2010 Pierre Usseglio "Cuvée de Mon Aïeul" Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 10 available ($139.99)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Usseglios consider the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul to be their greatest to date. Ive done numerous tastings with the 2010 and 2007 side by side, and more times than not, I think the 2007 is the better wine. Time will tell though, and both are sensational wines that readers should have in their cellars. The inky colored 2010 is 100% Grenache fermented with 30% stems and aged in a combination of older barrels and foudre. More focused and precise than the '07 (and even darker in color), yet still with massive concentration and depth, it offers deep, rich notes of blackberries, cassis, ground herbs, pepper and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, thick and layered on the palate, it never puts a foot wrong, has fabulous purity and a blockbuster finish. It needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but will have 20-25 years of longevity. (JD) 98+" (09/2015)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A deep, voluptuous, and concentrated Châteauneuf-du-Pape thats a blend of 100% Grenache that is aged all in foudre and neutral barrel, the 2010 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Cuvée de mon Aïeul is deep purple and semi-opaque in color and offers up a spectacular bouquet of blackberry, raspberry liqueur, roasted meats, spring flowers, licorice, and edgy minerality. Checking in at over 16% alcohol, yet showing no heat on the nose, it is fresh and beautifully focused aromatically. This full-bodied, layered, and lavishly textured Châteauneuf-du-Pape has fantastic concentration and masses of ripe tannin that are only partially concealed by the wines fruit. While possibly a notch down from the 07, this is about as good as this cuvee gets. It will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age, and drink beautifully for 2+ decades. 97+" (09/2012)

95 points Vinous: "Inky ruby. Red and dark berries on the highly perfumed, floral-accented nose. Lush but energetic, offering intense black raspberry and lavender pastille flavors and showing strong spicy cut. Fine-grained tannins give shape to a strikingly long, sappy finish. Superbly energetic and rich. (JR)" (01/2013)

94 points Wine Spectator: "A bold, ripe, almost heady style, with thickly layered blueberry, fig and boysenberry fruit laced with mouthwatering spice and melted black licorice, followed by a long, fruitcake-filled finish. This has the stuffing and grip for cellaring, but ultimately for fans of the more bombastic style. Best from 2014 through 2030. (JM)" (10/2012)

Jancis Robinson: "Dark crimson. Very ripe, almost porty on the nose. Lustrous and polished. Black cherry soup. Then quite marked tannin and acidity. Should make old bones. Quite dramatic. Twould be interesting to taste this alongside one of the drier ports -- or a fine Douro red. Appetising and successful. 18/20 Points (JR)" (12/2011)

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2005 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Vieilles Vignes" - 5 available ($189.99)

Domaine de Marcoux is one of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's originals, with family vineyards dating back to 1344. Today, the property is run and managed by sisters Catherine Armenier and Sophie Estevenin. Together, they share the winemaking responsibilities and oversight of their extremely old vines, which are farmed biodynamically. The average age of the vines is 50 years old, with 10 acres of 95 year-old-vines. The domaine is comprised of 57 acres spread across various zones of the appellation. The sisters are partial to cement tanks and all wines are fermented in these before passing into barrel. As the property prefers a more restrained style to the wines, none of the cuvées are macerated for extended lengths of time. There is no malolactic fermentation for any of the wines. 97 points Robert Parker: "...a blockbuster. Full-bodied with great intensity, superb richness, and tremendous floral, truffle, meaty, raspberry, and blackberry-scented aromas, this wine, which comes from three well-known parcels in Chateauneuf du Pape (La Crau, Gallimards, and Esquirons) exhibits high tannin and good acidity, but the massive fruit and richness from these old vines dominate the wines personality..." (10/07) 95 points Wine Spectator: "Lush and inviting, with mocha, raspberry, fruitcake and incense notes that run along a rich, velvety texture. The long, structured finish is really ripe and well-rounded and should gain further depth with cellaring." (11/07)

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2009 Henri Bonneau "Réserve des Célestins" Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 8 available Price: Hidden

95-96 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Seductive scents of ripe blackberry and boysenberry, singed plum and star anise, lifted by an intense floral topnote. Sweet, expansive dark fruit flavors show excellent concentration, with suggestions of licorice pastille and orange pith giving the wine an exotic character. Shows outstanding clarity and power on the extremely long finish, which is shaped by smooth, slow-building tannins. (JR)" (04/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tasted from bottle include the 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve des Célestins, which was purchased stateside. Its about as Provençal as they come and garrigue, kirsch liqueur, cured meats, saddle leather and licorice notes literally soar from this ruby-colored, full-bodied, sexy, heady Châteauneuf du Pape that has tons of glycerin and fat, sweet tannin and a great finish. Reminding me of a lighter weight 1990 with its sunny, sexy personality, its already hard to resist and should continue drinking nicely for 15+ years. (JD)" (10/2016)

Jancis Robinson: "Extraordinary richness and vibrancy in this throbbing cauldron of ripeness and spice but with some grainy tannin still in evidence. A wine to be sipped cautiously rather than swigged, so potent is it. Massive richness. No hurry whatsoever to drink this. 18/20 Points (JR)" (05/2016)

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2005 Pierre Usseglio "Reserve des Deux Freres" Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 7 available ($129.99)

97 points Wine Spectator: "Formidably dense and structured, with lots of fig paste and currant confiture, layered with espresso, bittersweet cocoa, bramble and hoisin sauce notes. The long, tarry finish really pounds it out authoritatively, with fruit and minerality to burn. Has the power of the previous vintages, but with far better definition. Best from 2009 through 2030." (10/2007)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky ruby. Smoky raspberry and creme de cassis aromas, with a surreal array of spice, floral and mineral qualities building in the glass. Palate-saturating red berry preserve flavors show a liqueur-like sweetness and viscosity but also remarkable mineral lift, finishing broad, sappy and with amazing persistence. One of my favorite wines of the vintage. 'This is a selection; it's not from a particular plot,' Thierry Usseglio told me." (01/2008)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: " The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Deux Freres, which is aged in one-, two-, and three-year-old small barrels and larger demi-muids, is 100% Grenache in 2005. Dense purple to the rim, the wine displays superb concentration, with notes of creosote, blackberry, coffee, pepper, earth, meats, and smoke. A wine of massive intensity, fabulous purity, and a thick, unctuous texture, the tannins do kick in at the end, so this wine will probably require 5-7 years of bottle age and drink well for close to three decades. It does have the requisite concentration to balance out the wines structure. 95+ (RP)" (10/2007)

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Chateau Beaucastel (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) - 6 available ($199.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A straight up, phenomenal wine, this bottle of 2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape was double decanted (poured into a decanter and then back into the bottle) 12 hours prior to drinking and boasted gorgeous aromatics (blackberry, cassis, lavender, garrigue and roasted meat), full bodied power, serious concentration and unreal purity. Very polished and almost civilized by Beaucastel standards, this beauty should drink beautifully for 3 decades. Wow. (JD) 96+" (08/2010)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Beaucastels 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape has turned out even better out of bottle than I predicted. An inky/ruby/purple color is followed by a glorious nose of blue and black fruits, truffles, pen ink, licorice, and meat juices as well as glorious levels of acidity and sweet tannin, buttressing the fruits fabulous freshness and vibrancy. This full-bodied effort still displays considerable tannin, no doubt because of the relatively high Mourvedre content. It should resolve its tannins in 2-4 years, and last for 25 or more. (RP)" (10/2009)

96 points Wine Spectator: "*Collectibles* This extremely dense red delivers layers of melted fig, mulled boysenberry and black currant fruit, all laced with notes of charred mesquite, hoisin sauce and Kenya AA coffee. The long, silky mouthfeel belies the latent power in reserveand there's a lot of it, with waves of grip driving the finish. Best from 2010 through 2030. (JM)" (12/2009)

94 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Powerful, pungent aromas evoke kirsch, blackberry, smoky herbs and dried flowers. Energetic, penetrating cherry and dark berry flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and given spine by a tangy mineral quality. A floral quality sneaks in with air, along with notes of allspice and star anise. The finish is sappy, focused and very long, with herbs and flowers lingering. (JR)" (01/2010)

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2007 Domaine de Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape - 4 available ($109.99)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the wines of the vintage is the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape from Philippe Bravey, and Ive drunk more than a case of this wine and have consistently rated it at the upper end of the spectrum (however, some bottles suffer from too much volatile acidity). Big, full-bodied, layered and unctuous, it has a huge nose of garrigue, black fruits, saddle leather and licorice. I absolutely love this wine and would happily drink bottles over the coming decade. (JD)" (02/2017)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of raspberry, cherry, blood orange and dried flowers, with an undertone of zesty spices. Very fresh and incisive red fruit flavors are complemented by sweet lavender and rose pastille, and pick up a peppery nuance with air. Impressively balanced, pure wine with a strong finishing jolt of red berry skin. I underestimated this wine from barrel. (JR)" (01/2010)

94 points Wine Spectator: " *Highly Recommended* This is seriously dark, with bittersweet chocolate, braised beef, fig, tar and ground espresso notes leading the charge, while dark plum and currant fruit wait in the background. Cuts a broad swath on the muscular finish. Very backward, with a ways to go, this has harnessed more grip than most in this vintage. Best from 2010 through 2030. (JM)" (11/2009)