Domaine Jean Royer Cuvee Prestige Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
Bright ruby. Red berries, cherry and rhubarb on the expressive, spice-accented nose. Spicy and tightly wound on entry, then fleshier and deeper in the middle, offering sappy but seamless red fruit and bitter cherry flavors. Gains power with air and finishes with very good breadth, energy and lingering spiciness. This elegant Chateauneuf will age well on its balance.
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige, which comes from 80- to 100-year-old vines (in contrast to the 45-year-old vines of the Tradition), is essentially an identical blend, and again aged primarily in tank. This is a slightly darker color, with massive amounts of black cherry and strawberry jam notes, and hints of Provencal herbs as well as loamy, sandy soil. A savory, broad, full-bodied wine without a hard edge to be found...
This takes the very light, perfumy approach, with lots of tea and sandalwood leading the way for floral, cherry and shiso leaf notes. The very stylish, high-toned finish has persistent bitter cherry and iron hints. This goes against the prevailing style in Châteauneuf, like an old Rayas. Drink now through 2025.