A stunning, profound wine, the 2005 Les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire, a blend of 80% Grenache and the rest a mix of Mourvèdre and Syrah, delivers spectacular aromatics of kirsch, garrigue, roasted meats, and licorice that soar from the glass. Absurdly perfumed, complex and a touch exotic on the nose, the wine is full bodied on the palate with a seamless, thick, sexy texture, perfect balance and a blockbuster finish that highlights silky tannin and decadent fruit. Surprisingly accessible (especially for the vintage), it will be interesting to see if this evolves along the same lines as the 1990 Cuvée Centenaire, which is drinking beautifully today and has lots of life left. I questioned both Andre Brunel and Philippe Cambie on this during my last tasting trip to Châteauneuf, and both stated that the ’90 showed similar at the same stage. If history is any guide, this should have a very long drink window. Regardless, a superb, benchmark wine that any southern Rhone lover should have in the cellar.
Published : 2011-03-28