Robert Parker 96
Surprisingly, the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins was much more open, rounded and sexy than the more austere, angular Marie Beurrier. This is a gorgeous, classic effort by Bonneau that’s overflowing with notions of sweet Grenache fruit, Provencal garrigue, cured meats, beef blood and spice. The aromatics alone are worth the price of admission, and the palate doesn’t lose a beat, with full-bodied richness, a full, layered, concentrated mid-palate and sweet tannin on the finish. Like the Marie Beurrier, the acidity here is elevated, yet in this case, it’s beautifully woven into the wine. It offers serious pleasure now, yet will have no problems continuing to evolve nicely for another 15+ years.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035
Full ruby. Huge, room-filling bouquet of blackberry compote, cherry, potpourri and cured tobacco, along with an intense spicy quality and a hint of orange zest. Palate-staining dark fruit flavors are braced by a strong mineral component and complicated by star anise and candied lavender nuances. Refuses to let up on the finish, which emphatically echoes the dark berry and lavender notes. There are tannins lurking in here but they’re buried beneath this wine’s powerful fruit.