In search of some of the world’s raciest reds, F&W’s Lettie Teague made a pilgrimage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here, six of the best.
2005 Coudoulet de Beaucastel ($25)
The basic bottling from Château de Beaucastel, the great Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate (technically a Côtes-du-Rhône, though called “baby Beaucastel”). Bright, juicy and delicious.
2004 Château La Nerthe ($40)
An approachable, supple wine—it has notes of red fruit and spice— that is ready to drink now or over the next few years.
2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Cuvée Tradition ($40)
The Usseglio brothers reliably produce well-balanced wines that pair well with food. This appealing red is marked by notes of earth and spice.
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Chaupin ($50)
Although the 2004 wines were overshadowed by the flashy 2005s, this polished, mineral-driven red is one of the best of the vintage and will develop even greater complexity over time.
2005 Clos Saint Jean La Combe des Fous ($90)
This truly over-the-top old-vine Grenache-Syrah blend from superstar consultant Philippe Cambie may be the very pinnacle of modern Châteauneuf winemaking.
2005 Domaine de Marcoux Vieilles Vignes ($250)
Ripe, lush and incredibly concentrated, this limited-production old-vine bottling is one of the best Châteauneufs ever.