2018 clos des papes, chateauneuf-du-pape, rouge
Why We're Buying
Few wines in the Rhône Valley are as coveted as Paul Avril Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge. The red wine features grenache with touches of mourvèdre, syrah, and other grapes from the estate's 24 plots.
A very refined, silky style, with subtle bitter cherry, damson plum and raspberry coulis notes racing through, flanked by garrigue and sandalwood notes and ending with graceful rooibos tea and mineral threads. This offers understated luxury.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bursting with striking red-fruit aromas and delicate cinnamon, clove and star anise notes, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape is another terrific vintage from this estate. While certainly full-bodied and powerful, it's also lithe and silky, with an almost airy feel on the palate that translates into great elegance on the lengthy finish.
Deep magenta. Intensely perfumed, mineral-tinged raspberry and cherry preserve scents are complicated by garrigue and Moroccan spice nuances. Juicy and appealingly sweet, displaying fleshy red fruit liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Smoothly balances richness and energy and finishes extremely long and sappy, with smooth, harmonious tannins and a strong echo of candied flowers.
Due to devastating yields, there’s not much of the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape to go around, but it’s going to be worth the extra effort to track down. Based on 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah (and a splash of other permitted varieties), it offers a textbook, classic Châteauneuf du Pape nose of mulled red and black fruits, Provençal garrigue, ground pepper, and saddle leather. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied Clos des Papes that has thrillingly polished tannins, flawless balance, and a great finish. Made in a style similar to the 1999, 2004, and maybe a kiss of the 2006, it has the beautiful elegance (again, a Grand Cru Burgundy comes to mind) paired with plenty of intensity and length. I doubt it will shut down and it’s going to evolve nicely for 15-20 years or more.