Fig, berries, and spice on the nose
Densely structured on the palate
Plum, mesquite, and spice layers on the long finish
Very nice but slow to open, this wine needs time. If you cellar wine, be patient with this one. If you really want to try it now, allow it to come up in temperature and really breathe. You could decant it for several hours if you'd like to.
I strongly urge wine drinkers to sample Chateauneuf du Pape. We are in the golden age for wines from this region, with many strong vintages from the past decade. These wines are known to improve over time, but you can enjoy them young as well if you let them breathe. The dense structure and incredible spice layers woven through the fruit are two of the hallmarks of good Chateauneuf du Pape. Most are primarily Grenache and Syrah, with other Southern Rhone grapes blended in. In fact, 13 grapes are allowed in these wines and a few producers still persist with special blends of all 13.
While they're splurge wines for most of us regular people, they are worth the money. Prices have been creeping up with the outstanding recent vintages, but you can still track down excellent wines for $30-50 while the most famous names are now $75 on up to hundreds of dollars for special bottlings. I paid $28 for this wine on sale, which carries a list price of $35. Four bottles are sitting in my cellar and I won't touch another one for several years. Raise a glass!