Croix de Bois (1.5 L)
WA: Coming from a single plot of 80-year-old vines and a blend of 100% tank-aged Grenache, the 2003 Croix de Bois is a ripe, exuberant, yet elegant Chateauneuf du Pape that oozes southern Rhone flair. While from a decidedly hot vintage, it shows nothing except pure, textbook Grenache aromas and flavors. Starting out tight and slightly reserved, it comes together with air and possesses an almost Rayas-like transparency, with knockout kirsch liqueur, sappy herbs, flowers, seaweed and licorice qualities all emerging from the glass. Still lively and energetic, with a core of sweet fruit, no hard edges and a silky, seamless texture, it is a beautiful, full-bodied 2003 that is at full maturity and drinking brilliantly. While I see no reason to hold off, it will continue to evolve gracefully for upwards of another decade.
WA / RP: 95