Robert Parker 96
Similar to the 2004 and made from a blend of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Counoise, the 1999 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin is a perfumed, gorgeously rich effort that excels on its elegance, complexity and length. From a cooler year and possessing bright acidity, full-bodied richness and building tannin, it offers up a smorgasbord of cured meats, licorice, dried flowers, spice and sweet berry fruit. Drinking nicely now, it should continue to evolve gracefully for another two decades. Coming mostly from a plot of old vines located behind the estate, the Perrin Family’s Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin was first created in 1989 and is a tribute to the late Jacques Perrin, who passed away in 1978. Aged all in foudre and normally a blend of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and the rest Syrah, it’s only produced in top vintages and there’s normally a scant 400-500 cases to go around. It’s an incredible, yet atypical Châteauneuf du Pape due to its high Mourvèdre content. While most vintages require upwards of a decade of cellaring, the more forward, sexy vintages can certainly be enjoyable in their youth as well.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2035
(this was slated to be bottled in January 2002; based on 60% mourvedre, in contrast to the ’98, which showcased the glorious grenache of that year) Full ruby. Knockout nose of black raspberry, roasted nuts, road tar, licorice, leather and game; comes across as riper and more roasted than the regular cuvee Fat, dense and superconcentrated, with extraordinary precision of flavor and tactile strength. Has the firm backbone to support its compelling flesh. Very long, slow-mounting finish throws off notes of licorice, game, tar and brown spices. This will go on for decades. I may have marginally underrated this wine a year ago. This is consistently one of the great wines of Southern France: it will be a fascinating experience to taste the ’99 and ’98 side by side ten years from now.