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February 200494 The 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois is among the finest efforts Chapoutier has yet produced of this single vineyard offering (it debuted in 1998). A deep, saturated ruby/purple color is followed by a gorgeous perfume of black cherries macerated in brandy, intermixed with that Provencal melange of herbs, earth, and spice box. Notes of Havana tobacco intertwined with licorice, roasted meats, and sweet cherry and cassis fruit ooze across the palate with no sense of heaviness, despite what must be close to 15.5% alcohol. The sweetness of the glycerin and sensational tactile impression make for a monumental taste of Chateauneuf du Pape. It should drink well for 20 years.
International Wine Cellar
February 200391-94 Good fresh red. Black fruits and strong garrigue notes on the nose. As dense as and perhaps riper than the Barbe-Rac, but also quite firm. Shows more acidity (as well as CO2) than the Barbe-Rac today, and a bit less alcohol. Quite firm and long on the back end. Offers impressive potential.