Really tight now, but packed with dark fig, currant, espresso, licorice and chocolate notes. Superfleshy but seriously structured, there's layer after layer of sweet spice, fruit and minerality pumping through the finish, with lots of latent depth and power. Far more backward than the 2003 or 2004 on release, but since this red typically puts on weight as it ages, it should be a monster-- la the 1990--when it reaches its peak. Best from 2009 through 2030.
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape has a deep ruby/purple color, identical alcohol to the 2006, and the same pH, but it is a much more tannic wine and the acids seem slightly more elevated, even though the analysis says they are not. A complex nose of resiny pine forest notes intermixed with black raspberry, sweet kirsch, licorice and lavender jumps from the glass of this deep ruby/purple-colored wine. Full-bodied, powerful, rich, and tannic, this wine begs for 4-5 years of bottle age and should keep for 25+ years. In short, you cant go wrong with either of these vintages, although the 2006 will provide more up-front charm, and the window for drinking it will be just as long as the 2005. Patience will be required for the 2005. This remains one of the irrefutable reference point estates for traditional Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine is always aged in a battery of foudres in the air-conditioned and humidified cellars. Vincent Avril told me that yields have been very low since 2003 at Clos des Papes, with 24 hectoliters per hectare in 2003 and 21 hectoliters per hectare in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Alcohols have consistently been above 15%, with the highest in 2003, and lower but still above 15% in 2004, 2005 and 2006. This estate has produced one of the great Chateauneuf du Papes of the 2006 vintage, and to my taste, it is a sexier, more hedonistic, and compete wine than even the 2005. Of course, the classic blend is 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and the rest very small percentages of Vaccarese, Counoise, and Muscardin.