|Rhône||2007||CDP Clos des Papes, Paul Avril Clos des Papes||BT||2 \ 0||24||1,780.00||12||24||197.77777733333||99.10||99.10||CDP Clos des Papes, Avril||0.75||10|
|Rhône||2007||CDP Clos des Papes, Paul Avril Clos des Papes||JB||1||1||600.00||bt||1||200||99.10||99.10||CDP Clos des Papes, Avril||3||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
Paul Avril was a bigger-than-life vigneron, a visionary, and a great teacher, but Vincent has been in charge for a number of years, and he has rewarded his father with what I believe is the greatest Chateauneuf du Pape made since 1978 and 1990, the 2007. I have not only tasted this wine at the estate, but I purchased it for my cellar, and have now drunk it on three separate occasions out of bottle. It is unquestionably one of the great Chateauneufs of my lifetime, and I suspect it will merit a three digit score after another 3-4 years of cellaring. The blend is generally 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, and the rest small amounts of Muscardin, Vaccarese, Counoise, and Syrah. It exhibits what is probably the deepest color I have ever seen here, and the finished alcohol is a high (for Clos des Papes) 15.5%. Still slightly restrained because of its recent bottling, but wow, what potential complexity, mind-boggling richness, and compelling flavor profile are apparent. It is a sublime expression of the art of winemaking as evidenced by its dense purple color and big, sweet kiss of kirsch, framboise, blackberries, licorice, roasted herbs, and smoked meat. It hits the palate with a fascinating combination of substance, power, full-bodied authority yet extraordinary freshness, elegance, and precision. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and watch it unleash its glory over the next three decades. This is a prodigious wine of great quality from one of the most important reference point estates in Chateauneuf du Pape.
After tasting the 2006, I was wondering how the 2007 could match it. Well,Vincent Avril asked me how much time I had, and since it was my last appointment of the day, I told him I was totally free, so we basically tasted through just about every foudre in the cellar before moving to the final blend of all the component parts. Vincent Avril was flashing one smile after another as we methodically worked through the foudres. The lowest score I gave any of them was (95-98), and virtually all of them were coming in between 97 and 100 points. I'll go out on a relatively safe limb and state that I believe the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape is the greatest Clos des Papes I have ever tasted! The fact that there should be around 100,000 bottles produced is music to my ears since the biggest complaint I hear about most of the top wines in this journal is that they are always made in such limited quantities. The 2007 will end up with a finished alcohol of about 15.5% and a pH of about 3.8. The average yields for this vintage were slightly higher than in 2006, about 24 hectoliters per hectare, which is essentially under 2 tons of fruit per acre. The 2007 reveals all the characteristics that make Clos des Papes so special, including extraordinary elegance, remarkable complexity in the black raspberry, kirsch, truffle, meaty, Provencal herbaceousness, full-bodied palate, voluptuous, silky tannins, and mind-boggling richness and length. Nothing is out of place, and there are no hard edges in this beautiful Chateauneuf du Pape. The vintage's cool growing conditions have given the wine a freshness to go along with its substantial size and power. This monumental Chateauneuf is a tour de force in winemaking. It should be relatively accessible in 3-4 years, and evolve along the lines of the 1978, only the 2007 has more to it, so expect it to last at least 30 years. Not to be missed!
One of the great vintages from this estate, surpassing even the 1990, 2000, 2001, 2003, and maybe the 2010 (time will tell with this one), the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape from Vincent Avril delivers everything you could want from a wine. Full-bodied, intense and beautifully concentrated, with plenty of muscle and depth, it shows the hallmark elegance and purity of the estate, with sensational notes of kirsch liqueur, raspberries, incense, smoked meats and Asian spices. The blend is the normal 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and the rest a mix of permitted varieties, brought up all in older foudre, and it's just now entering its prime drink window and has another two decades of longevity.
Smoky, wild and meaty, with powerful raspberry and licorice qualities. Tannin-free, sweet and long. Foudre #9: Deep, inky dark fruit aromas, with hints of licorice and smoky minerals. Pliant blackberry and kirsch on the palate, with dusty tannins adding grip. Foudre #8: Intense mineral and cherry aromas, with a subtle note of cola. Rich, sappy and gently sweet, with powerful red berry and cherry flavors. Really long. Foudre #7: Deep cherry and blackcurrant on the nose. Spicy red berry flavors gain weight with air, taking a turn to cassis and bitter cherry. Foudre #2, all grenache: Fresh red berries and garrigue on the nose. Fresh, sharply defined raspberry and cherry flavors, with silky tannins and great mineral snap. Foudre #30: Explosively perfumed red fruit aromas with strong incense and floral qualities. Very sweet, palate-staining raspberry and cassis flavors. Exceptionally long. Foudre #25: Vibrant strawberry and raspberry aromas, with hits of anise and potpourri. Pliant and sweet, with palate-staining red fruit and candied floral flavors. This is all finesse. An approximation of the final blend: Bright ruby-red. Strongly perfumed bouquet of spicy red and dark berries, licorice, pungent herbs and graphite. Saturates the palate with deep, sweet black raspberry, cherry and blackcurrant flavors. Turns spicier on the back end, finishing with outstanding clarity, lift and persistence. This will be remarkable, if you buy it from a reliable source rather than rolling the dice with the cheapest guy on the Internet.
John Livingstone-Learmonth and I were given one Grenache-dominated sample that was pretty gorgeous and vivacious with notes of liquorice and such sweet, sumptuous texture, and then another richer one that was supposed to approximate to the final blend although it was assembled only a minute before we tasted it so of course suffered from that ignominy. Vincent Avril assured us that he had to wait until the potential alcohol reached 15% before he had complete phenolic maturity. Very lush with amazingly ripe tannins. The blend was amazingly full and animal-tasting with an extraordinary blend of intense sweetness plus unexpected freshness. Floral top notes on lots of molasses with the tannins almost imperceptible. Utterly hedonistic. Date tasted 10th Dec 08.