2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (375ml)
* #1 Wine of 2007 * Really tight now, but packed with dark fig, currant, espresso, licorice and chocolate notes. Superfleshy but seriously structured, there's layer after layer of sweet spice, fruit and minerality pumping through the finish, with lots of latent depth and power. Far more backward than the 2003 or 2004 on release, but since this red typically puts on weight as it ages, it should be a monster--à la the 1990--when it reaches its peak. Best from 2009 through 2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(65% grenache, 20% mourvedre, 10% syrah and the rest "the others") Deep red. Explosively perfumed nose offers a profound bouquet of red and dark berries, licorice, incense and musky underbrush. Broad, palate-staining raspberry and blackcurrant flavors are enveloped in velvety tannins, with suave anise and Asian spices adding complexity. A huge but balanced-even graceful-wine, with a finish that refuses to let go of the palate. This remarkable young Chateauneuf has the sheer sex appeal to enjoy young but also possesses superb cellaring potential. I'd hold mine. (JR)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Hitting a natural 15.5% alcohol, Paul-Vincent’s 2005 Châteauneuf du Pape is decidedly more elegant and finesse-styled now than it was on release, where it was more dominated by its tannic structure. Still a youthful ruby color, it offers up a perfumed bouquet of kirsch and blackberry-like fruits, licorice, incense, Asian spice and forest floor. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant wine that’s lost all of its baby fat, yet still has a core of sweet fruit, fine tannin and a balanced, harmonious feel. It’s not a powerhouse, and is drinking nicely today, with another decade of longevity. (JD)