When I taste wines of this caliber from '05 it really makes me shake my head that I don't swoon over the vintage....but then I'm reminded of some of the jagged, austere tannins that other wines in the vintage produced & I slide back on the fence. I really feel that some producers 'got the vintage,' and others didn't know what to do w/ all the structure.
Next to Clos St. Jean's Vieilles Vignes (which is still in the vicinity of a mid 30's to low 40's price-tag) and Vieille Julienne, this has to be the best 'appellation level' wine in '05 from the broad group of producers that fashion multiple cuvees.
Barroche Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve, 2005
Just a flat out terrific, young Chateauneuf, crammed w/ polish and generous flavors of duck fat, cardamom, plum sauce, spice cake and raspberry demi-glaze. The palate is a hedonistic mouthful of plush, sappy flavors that pile on layers of creamy, rounded, licorice-infused notes that glide over the palate w/ grace & ease. As the wine airs, an overwhelming intensity of character builds, echoing espresso roast and cocoa powder notes on the gushing finish. What a base cuvee, 94+ points!