CDP Clos des Papes, Domaine Paul Avril 2006


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Tasting Notes

The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is one of the two or three candidates for the wine of the vintage. An extraordinarily great wine, the 2006 is far superior to the 2005, which was amazing, and while made in a different style, is as great as the 2003, and such legends as 1990 and 1978. Fashioned from a minuscule 21 hectoliters per hectare, and tipping the scales at 15.2% natural alcohol, the 2006 boasts a dense ruby/purple color to the rim, in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of melted licorice, spring flowers, raspberries, black currants, spice box, and earth. In the mouth, it is utterly profound - full-bodied and multidimensional with astonishing purity, length, equilibrium, and intensity. This is a superb vintage for the Avrils, and Vincent deserves huge accolades for producing a wine of such incredible intensity and complexity. Think of Clos des Papes as a Chateauneuf du Pape with the complexity of a top-notch grand cru Burgundy from the Cote de Nuits

Score: 98Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (179), October 2008

the 2006 chateauneuf du pape (15.2% alcohol, with essentially the same technical statistics as the 2005) is a completely different animal in terms of tasting. opulent, full-bodied, and lush, it tastes as if someone had blended 65% of the 2003 with 35% of the 2005, and 2006 was the result. deep ruby/purple-colored, with a sweet nose of framboise, raspberries, garrigue, spice box, and earth, the wine is gorgeously concentrated, with low acidity, and very ripe but high tannins. the overall impression is one of opulence, generosity, and a sexy, hedonistic style of chateauneuf du pape that puts it among the very finest of the vintage. nevertheless, i still suspect 2-3 years of bottle age will be essential, and this wine will keep for 25 or more years. this remains one of the irrefutable reference point estates for traditional chateauneuf du pape. the wine is always aged in a battery of foudres in the air-conditioned and humidified cellars. vincent avril told me that yields have been very low since 2003 at clos des papes, with 24 hectoliters per hectare in 2003 and 21 hectoliters per hectare in 2004, 2005, and 2006. alcohols have consistently been above 15%, with the highest in 2003, and lower but still above 15% in 2004, 2005 and 2006. this estate has produced one of the great chateauneuf du papes of the 2006 vintage, and to my taste, it is a sexier, more hedonistic, and compete wine than even the 2005. of course, the classic blend is 60% grenache, 20% mourvedre, 10% syrah and the rest very small percentages of vaccarese, counoise, and muscardin.

Score: 96/98Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (173), October 2007

Bright ruby. Highly expressive aromas of raspberry, cherry, lavender, smoked meat and minerals. Racy and sharply focused, with juicy red and dark berry flavors, silky texture and a gentle candied floral quality. Impressively pure and balanced, with outstanding finishing clarity and lingering sweetness. Does this ever really finish? By no means a blockbuster, but delivers very serious palate impact.

Score: 95Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, January 2009

This has terrific purity, with a stunningly pure beam of cassis holdingsway over fruitcake, melted licorice and incense notes. Shows impressive density for the vintage, but this is suave, elegant and seamless through the finish, with terrific underlying minerality. Best from 2009 through 2030.

Score: 95James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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