Robert Parker 93
The atypically Grenache-dominated 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape is fully mature and gives up tons of kirsch, garrigue, licorice and a touch of gaminess in its full-bodied, layered and ripe personality. More rounded and sexy than most vintages, it has no hard edges, plenty of mid-palate depth and a great finish. I see no reason to delay gratification, but it will certainly hold for 5-10 years.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025
Saturated ruby-red. Superripe but reticent, grenache-dominated aromas of roasted plum, cherry jam, tar and humus. Fat, lush and stuffed with fruit; almost heavy today compared to the ’99. But this is utterly silky and its firm underlying structure is buried by fruit and baby fat. Intriguing meat and licorice notes. A wine of superb finesse and superfine tannins.