Robert Parker 98
The 2000 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin (60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise, and 10% Syrah) was singing! Open, upfront, sexy and seamless, with awesome notes of saddle leather, Provencal herbs, barnyard, spice and licorice-soaked black cherry and sweet cassis, it hit the palate with full-bodied richness, no hard edges, and an unctuous, heavenly texture. Reminding me of the 1990, yet perhaps just slightly less intense, this is a profound effort that will drink nicely for another two decades or more. 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: 2015-2040
(the blend, based on 60% mourvedre, was to have been bottled a week after my visit) Saturated bright deep ruby. Incredible kaleidoscope of a nose: blackberry, currant, violet, espresso, bitter chocolate, truffle, eucalyptus, gibier, licorice, pepper and wild spices. Similarly multifaceted in the mouth; hugely concentrated and lush but lively and light on its feet. This boasts an extraordinary core of dark fruit. Finishes extremely long, juicy and young. This is even stronger than it appeared to be a year ago. In comparison to this wine, the 1999 version, which I retasted alongside the 2000, was a bit more port-like, with strong notes of fruit cake and maple syrup and a superripe, chocolatey finish; I rated the wine 96 but felt that the 2000 showed even greater long-term potential.
Gorgeously ripe red fruit, plus earth, milk chocolate, soft tannin, forest floor and a touch of boot polish that is probably related to something acetic but works really well in the mix of flavours. Long, impressive, expansive finish. Multi-layered and loaded with flavour. Very Rhône. Indefatigable! (RH)
Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025