More fresh, linear and focused, the 1999 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de La Reine des Bois offers plenty of character in its medium to full-bodied, rich and nicely concentrated personality. Giving up plenty of chocolaty dark fruits, spice-box and cured meat-like qualities, it can be consumed anytime over the coming 7-8 years. As I wrote in the intro for this domaine last year, Domaine de la Mordoree is a reference point estate for Chateauneuf du Pape. Run by the talented brother duo of Fabrice and Christophe Delorme, with Christophe making the wines, they produce a relatively modern-styled Chateauneuf, as well as more than noteworthy Liracs and Tavels. For this tasting at the domaine (I was also able to taste through this full lineup again, from bottles in the U.S.), we started with the older vintages and worked toward the more current releases. In addition to their Reine des Bois cuvee, the Delorme brothers also release a special cuvee call the Cuvee de la Plume du Peintre. Its made only in top vintages, and, as of today, its only been made in 2003 and 2005. Theres a scant 150 cases of each. Coming from a plot of 80-year-old vines located in the famed La Crau lieu-dit, the blend has changed between the two releases, as has the elevage.
Bright medium ruby. Complex, vibrant nose of cassis, violet, sandalwood, bitter chocolate, licorice and espresso, with a hint of exotic fruits. Concentrated, structured and chewy, with fresh dark berry flavors and seamless texture. Stronger in extract than it appeared to be a year ago from barrel. Finishes firmly tannic, lively and very long.
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