2013 M. Chapoutier "Croix de Bois" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Nicely packed for the vintage, with an energetic core of kirsch, damson plum and blood orange coulis flavors, backed by hints of singed cedar and alder that extend through the racy, focused finish. A light echo of shiso leaf at the very end adds freshness. Best from 2017 through 2030. (JM)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Always sweeter and more flamboyant than the Barbe Rac, the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois offers more kirsch, black raspberry and cassis, as well as ample garrigue and spice nuances. Full-bodied, gorgeously pure and layered, it’s about as sexy and voluptuous as they come in this cooler vintage. Drink this beauty anytime over the coming decade. (JD)
Vivid ruby-red. Ripe, deeply pitched black raspberry and cherry compote scents are sharpened by notes of white pepper and smoky minerals. Pliant and seamless on the palate, offering intense red and dark berry flavors and a suave floral pastille nuance. The clinging finish features gentle tannins and a hint of anise. (JR)
5 ha, 100% Grenache. This distinctive terroir is located in the town of Bédarrides, and is characterised by large rolled quartzite pebbles and sandy red clay. This forces the roots to grow deep in the soil. The pebbles protect the topsoil from the drying mistral wind, the sun, and compacting. The Croix de Bois terroir is nevertheless quite distinct from Barbe Rac. At about half the age of Barbe Rac vines, and at a higher altitude, its spicy nose and deep red-fruit flavours make a distinctive statement of dense Grenache intensity. The wines from this land have strong structure and colour. Yields 9 hl/ha. If so much coulure, why did they pick so late? It had sugar ripeness but not seed ripeness. Had 14% in potential alcohol but had to wait three weeks for full phenolic ripeness. Bright crimson. Interesting dried-leaf nose and virtually no sweetness at all! Dry liquorice? Black flavours--a little drying on the end.