Robert Parker – 92
This bottle of the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape la Combe des Fous seemed to be in a weird place. While it still has great color, the flavors have advanced into a savory combination of roasted meat and mushrooms. It’s full-bodied and plush, with caramel overtones that linger on the finish. Contrasting this performance with the Deus Ex Machina tasted immediately afterward makes me wonder if this was a good bottle.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020
Vinous – 94
Full ruby. An exotic, highly perfumed bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, star anise and a whiff of Grand Marnier. Juicy, palate-coating raspberry and boysenberry flavors show a felicitous blend of power and vivacity, with no rough edges and slow-building spiciness. Closes on a sweet note, with lingering anise and floral notes.