"One can imagine that the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine is even more backward than the regular bottling. Saturated black/purple in color with a classic nose of a walk in a pine forest intermixed with roasted herbs, black cherry liqueur, cassis, and something I often pick up in this wine, an almost earthy, peppery meatiness that, for lack of a better description, reminds me of a high-class steak au poivre dish at a French bistro. This is full-bodied and deep – a wine built/made for connoisseurs who have the patience as well as the cold cellars to store it. Give it 3-5 years of bottle age and drink it over the following two decades. This is one more estate that has come back strong because of a change in generations with the young, competent Jean-Marc Diffonty replacing his father, one of the grumpy but personality-filled characters of Chateauneuf du Pape. Yet from a winemaking standpoint, the father was inflexible and unwilling to change. Diffonty has lower yields and introduced a new blend, the Reserve Sixtine which is a blend of 50% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre, the latter two components spending time in small oak barrels."
-Wine Advocate 92-94
"Dark red. Intense oak spice notes and dusty herbs accent bright red berry aromas. Sweet and silky, with powerful raspberry and kirsch flavors, supple tannins and excellent thrust on the finish. This is wonderfully bright and energetic, with the balance to repay cellaring."
-International Wine Cellar 92-95