2011 M. Chapoutier "Croix de Bois" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby-red. Sexy red fruit liqueur, potpourri and Asian spice aromas show impressive power and an energetic, pinot-like character. Sappy, tangy and precise on the palate, displaying lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of spicecake. Closes on a mineral note, with superb clarity, verve and length.
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. (JD)
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.