Robert Parker – 98
Drunk with the Bonneau family after the visit, the 1998 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve des Célestins is a heavenly elixir that’s one of the most impressive wines in the vintage. In addition, it was so young and powerful, it was hard to believe it was 18 years old. Deep ruby color, with to die for notes of kirsch, currants, beef blood, roasted herbs and crushed rocks, this incredible wine hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a powerful, structured mid-palate and a finish that leaves you begging for another sip. It was a fitting end to a terrific visit.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026
Vinous – 97
Deep, dark red. Intensely aromatic nose explodes with dark berry liqueur, grilled and smoked meat, roasted coffee and floral oils; builds and expands endlessly. Unctuous in texture, in fact almost oily, with utterly compelling, sweet blackberry, dark chocolate and charred meat flavors that saturate every millimeter of the palate. Ridiculously long and rich through the finish, which seems to have no tannins. But they are in there, Bonneau assures me.)