Paul and Vincent Avril, a father and son team, have established themselves as one of the finest producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Despite being predominantly Grenache, it is reminiscent of an elegant northern Rhône Syrah with the texture of a Pinot. With a medium bodied intensity, it has a beautiful red fruit expression with some savoury notes. Harmony, finesse and elegance are probably the three words that best describe this beauty. One for the cellar.
Deep ruby. Highly perfumed scents of candied dark berries, cola and lavender oil develop a suave, smoky Indian spice nuance. Fleshy, expansive red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors display an impressive blend of richness and energy, picking up a mineral flourish with air. Finishes juicy, sweet and very long, displaying lingering, spice-tinged dark fruit flavors and slow-building tannins. (JR)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste Vincent’s 2015 from foudre, but his 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape is certainly one of the wines of the vintage. And while it possesses terrific notes of peppery herbs, Provençal spice, kirsch and darker berry fruits, it’s on the palate where this beauty shines! Medium to full-bodied, incredibly balanced, seamless and pure, with beautiful fruit, it has present tannin, terrific mid-palate depth and a great finish. It won’t be the longest lived wine from the estate, but it’s beautiful and will certainly drink well for a decade. (JD)
Sandy cuvée of 2014 (2/3 of the whole): Very high toned and florally fragrant. Almost light! Very fine, supple tannins. Long with just a suggestion of heat on the finish. Clayey cuvée of 2014 (1/3 of the whole): A little more robust with slightly more marked tannins and a hint of gaminess as a grace note. Round and filling. Blend should really tick all the boxes of a refined Châteauneuf – very different from the old norm! Acidity perceptible. A tentative assemblage emphasised the spicy nature and Grenache characteristics of this famous wine. 17.5/20 points
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