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Professional Ratings: 98 The Wine Advocate, 95 Wine Spectator, 95 International Wine Cellar
Region: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Varietal: Rhone Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Item no. 123545
As with many houses in the region, the cépage for the red wine at Clos des Papes is based on a majority of Grenache (65%), with smaller quantities of Mouvèdre (20%) and Syrah (10%). The remainder of the blend consists of small amounts of some of the lesser-known varietals approved in the appellation, namely Muscardin, Counoise and Vacarèse. The wines spend their infancy in tank and are then transferred to large foudres for an élevage which lasts approximately 14-15 months.
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.
This has terrific purity, with a stunningly pure beam of cassis holding sway 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.
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?