Harry Karis, in his excellent new book on Chateauneuf du Pape, writes of Les Clefs d'Or as a wine that ages well. This 21-year-old bottle is a testament to that aging ability.
The color is light crimson with considerable amber. Immediately, I get mature though lively Chateauneuf du Pape smells--fresh and dried cherries and blueberries, Mourvedre spice. Bice lift and concentration. On entry, the wine has a flavor profile similar to that of the 1998 Font-Sane Gigondas, but Les Clefs d'Or is much sweeter on the mid-palate. This is not the sweetness of sugar but of completely ripened grapes from 60- to 80-year-old vines. No showy power but incredible strength and concentration. The great fruit concentration sneaks up on you, and the flavors linger long after you have swallowed. Les Clefs d'Or is not among the high flying Chateauneuf estates in price, but it certainly ranks high in quality and value.