Another perfect wine from this brilliant estate is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which matches the otherworldly 2007. A classic blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah brought up all in old foudre, this beauty's deep purple color is followed by a mammoth bouquet of kirsch liqueur, black currants, blueberries, Asian spices, and garrigue. Full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful, it nevertheless is as graceful as a ballerina on the palate and has ultra-fine tannins, a silky, seamless texture, and a finish that just won't quit. Hats off to vigneron Paul-Vincent Avril!
Yields are always low at Clos des Papes, but this was Vincent Avril's biggest harvest since 2007, with yields of 25hl/ha. A tasting of various different blends highlighted the part played by each main variety, but the final blend shows a young wine that is already aromatically harmonious, bright and detailed. It's fuller-bodied than an average vintage, deep yet fresh. It has a powerful tannic and acidic framework this year, but the wine is very well balanced and very long, with a sublime freshness. An effortlessly brilliant Clos des Papes. (MW)
The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is full-bodied but balanced, with plenty of richness and concentration but also a certain paradoxical lightness. It offers complex garrigue and anise notes, a blend of cherry and raspberry fruit, a silky texture and a long finish that shows no sign of the wine's 15.8% alcohol. For technocrats, the wine's pH is 3.7, which is sufficient acidity to maintain a fine sense of balance. This lovely wine should drink well for at least two decades. Together with the 2015 and the 2017, it will be a compelling trio of wines to follow over the years. (JC) 97+
Lurid ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes raspberry liqueur, cherry compote, exotic spices and candied lavender. Juicy, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering impressively concentrated and sharply delineated flavors of sappy red fruits, succulent herbs, spicecake and candied flowers that spread out steadily on the back half. Densely packed but also lithe in character, finishing with slow-building tannins that shape the exuberant red fruit on the extremely long, sappy and penetrating finish. (JR)
Very youthful and tightly focused now, featuring a lovely beam of cassis, cherry preserve and raspberry pâte de fruit notes leading the way, backed by light floral, bergamot, anise and apple wood accents. The fruit is warm and caressing, with solid grip and drive through the finish due to a buried graphite element. Stays alluring, with lots of subtle charm, despite the density and layers. This will cruise in the cellar. (JM)
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