Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chante Le Merle 1998
Bright dark red. Reticent but lively aromas of black raspberry and blackberry syrup. Thick, powerful and seamless, but brighter and more delineated than the estate other '98s. Very expressive, superripe flavors of plum, nuts, game and animal fur. Huge, expanding finish features big, ripe, firm tannins that saturate the teeth and palate. Classic, superripe, in-your-face Chateauneuf du Pape. Boiron said that the point of using some new oak in '99 was to slightly sweeten the tannins of this prestige cuvee.
The star of the show from Bosquet des Papes was the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes. Fully mature, it reveals impressive notes of roasted garrigue, lots of cured meats, licorice and coffee bean notes to go with a ripe, full-bodied, textured feel on the palate. It has an old-school feel, yet is neither overtly rustic nor astringent. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. The blend here is 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, all of which was aged in foudre and demi-muids.