Medium red. Deep, complex, musky aromas of strawberry liqueur, milk chocolate and earth; superripe and nuanced. Huge wine of compelling richness and depth, but with enough supporting acidity to keep it from going over the top. Completely expressive grenache flavors of plum liqueur and pepper. Finishes with big, lush tannins and palate-saturating flavor.
Wildly provencal, the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois was singing on this occasion and had tons of kirsch, garrigue, seaweed and gamy notes all giving way to a full-bodied, plump, fruit-filled Chateauneuf du Pape that's drinking at point. There's no upside here, but it should evolve nicely going forward on its terrific core of fruit.