A debut offering, the 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes Cuvee Speciale was fashioned with 100% stems from 75-80 year old Grenache vines from the appellation's eastern sector known as La Crau. This 1,000-case cuvee boasts a black/blue/purple color. While closed, it reveals tremendous concentration along with a formidable assortment of flavors including ripe figs, creme de cassis, chocolate, melted licorice, espresso, and earth. Full-bodied, magnificently concentrated, and pure, with reserves of power, it has the potential to be magical, but patience will be a virtue given its backwardness at present. It's hard to believe this wine has close to 16% natural alcohol, but that component is completely concealed by the level of concentration. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2023.