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2000 Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
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96 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - January/February 2003

($95) Full bright ruby, one of the darkest examples of the vintage. Multidimensional nose blossomed with aeration to show black raspberry, cassis, minerals, violet face powder, roasted herbs and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully silky, expanding dark fruit flavors lifted by a compelling floral element. This is explosively aromatic in the mouth. A monumental wine that combines great density with uncanny inner-mouth perfume. Extremely fresh and firm on the back. I suspect this has a rather low pH for a Chateauneuf this rich. This blew away the Quartz when I tasted the two wines side by side. Interestingly, this includes about 30% mourvedre, but it's less tight than the Quartz today. I wouldn't say this is archetypical Chateauneuf du Pape, but it's an extraordinary wine, and will make a fitting testament to Vacheron, who reportedly bottled it himself in March, the day before his death.

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Hundred-year-old vines at Domaine La Barroche
About Chateauneuf du Pape

The Rhone's Chateauneuf du Pape has been one of the hottest categories of the new millennium in the American market, thanks in equal part to the nearly candied ripeness and full-bodied, chewy texture of these wines and to an unprecedented string of four consecutive very good to outstanding vintages between 1998 and 2001.
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