the sumptuous 2003 red Châteauneuf du Pape...was pure raspberry and kirsch liqueur with gorgeous texture and opulence.
|Score: 98||Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, June 2007|
The 2003 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape (the # 2 wine in the Wine Spectator’s annual winefest) has long been one of the most profound wines of the vintage. It somehow manages to offer the vintage’s character in power, high glycerin, and huge volume, but retains remarkable elegance and finesse that is so much in keeping with the style of Clos des Papes. The wine has a dense ruby/purple-tinged color and a wonderfully sweet nose of framboise, blackberry, and kirsch liqueur intermixed with Chinese black tea and licorice. The wine is full-bodied and voluptuous, but once past all the glycerin and beautiful, dense fruit of this full-bodied wine, there is striking purity, elegance, finesse, and surprising freshness. Still primary, it looks set to have a long life of 20-25 or more years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.
|Score: 97||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (163), February 2006|
Yeah....in a very mixed vintage in the south....this is a colossal effort...and it will be a modern day legend....yet it is not a freak...unless you also define freaks as 1990 Rayas...1990 Cuvee Papet-Mont Olivet...1990 Reserve des Celestins...1990 Clos des Papes...and 1990 Cuvee Centenaire-Les Cailloux....I am trying to buy as much as I can find as I adore this estate in its greatest years(1978,1990,2001,2003,and 2004)...but having little luck finding any.....how's tho old saying go.....
"everyone resembles genius,but genius resembles noone'....or something akin to that....
| ||Robert Parker, Mark Squires' Bulletin Board, September 2005|
Just purchased some 2003 Clos des Papes (CNDP), and unable to defer my gratification for a day or two, opened a bottle, right out of the box and off the truck..it led to a second bottle being opened and consumed in Tour de France record time..
Now Clos des Papes is always a tough nut to crack after bottling, usually needing 4-6 years of bottle age to rebound. Well the 2003 has no shortage of tannin.. But oh Gods of wine it is just so opulent and richly textured..and approachable..actually let's just call it friggin delicious.. Now here is the kicker.. Clos de Papes has never resembled Rayas in the 26 years I have been visiting, tasting, buying and tasting these two CNDP bluebloods..in fact, the terroirs, the wines, their composition, aromas and personalities are very different.. But the 2003 at least the two bottles I have drunk with extreme pleasure.. Reminded me of how the 1990 Rayas tasted Circa 1992-1993!
A great 2003 CNDP..and that may be an understatement.
| ||Robert Parker, Mark Squires' Bulletin Board, July 2005|
The final blend for the 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape (a great success, and possibly the finest wine made here since the monumental 1990 and 1978) is 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, and the rest Counoise and Muscardin. Its dense ruby/purple color is matched by an extraordinary perfume of black raspberries, kirsch, blackberries, licorice, incense, and Chinese black tea. There is tremendous intensity on the attack, full body, loads of glycerin, and abundant but sweet tannin. With magnificent purity, richness, and generosity, yet fine delineation, this brilliant effort will be ready to drink in 3-4 years, and should last for two decades. Kudos to Vincent Avril for the finest wine he has made in his young, but promising career.
|Score: 96/99||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (156), December 2004|
A great bottle and showing the hallmark elegance of the estate, the 2003 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape offers up a kirsch liqueur, liquid flower, red licorice and spice-box driven bouquet along with a full-bodied, seamless, silky profile on the palate. Still beautifully put together and aging gracefully, with a core of sweet fruit, it is certainly drinking well now, yet should continue to hold and drink nicely through 2020.
|Score: 98||Jeb Dunnuck, RobertParker.com (207), June 2013|
Lilting and perfumy, with raspberry, boysenberry, floral, mineral and mocha flavours leading to a long, silky, refined finish.
|Score: 97||James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, November 2005|