2007 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the top wines in this incredible vintage is Avril's 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape, which is the normal blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and the rest of mix of permitted varieties. Brought up all in older foudre, it's a blockbuster, almost over-the-top, effort that gives up notes of kirsch, incense, dried flowers, spice and pepper. Deep, full-bodied, massively concentrated, unctuous and downright sexy, it needs another 2-3 years of cellaring and will have 30 years or more of overall longevity. (JD)
Absolutely stunning, with a deep well of crème de cassis that's thoroughly pure and captivating, while black tea, fig cake, hoisin sauce, incense and graphite notes weave throughout. The supervelvety finish lets blackberry, boysenberry and crushed cherry fruit take an encore—as if this needed any more fruit. A fantastic display of precision in a very opulent year. Best from 2010 through 2030. (JM)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby. Powerful, pungent aromas of kirsch, dark berries, smoky herbs and spicecake, with notes of black olive and tobacco coming on with air. Chewy, palate-staining dark fruit flavors are complicated by bitter chocolate, licorice and black cardamom. Acts like a 2005 today, with serious structure but also superb depth of powerful, densely packed fruit. A hint of cherry skin adds grip and refreshing bitterness to the long, smoky, focused finish. Not an easy read right now: this demands cellaring. (JR)
Strong, ripe purple fruits plus a hint of gaminess on the nose. Great beautiful richness on the palate. Sumptuous and glorious but not hot. 25 hl/ha – wonderful supple tannins. Great directions. Probably best decanted. But much more evolved than 2005, for example. 19.5/20 points
Robert Parker's 2009 review and commentary: "Paul Avril was a bigger-than-life vigneron, a visionary, and a great teacher, but Vincent has been in charge for a number of years, and he has rewarded his father with what I believe is the greatest Chateauneuf du Pape made since 1978 and 1990, the 2007. I have not only tasted this wine at the estate, but I purchased it for my cellar, and have now drunk it on three separate occasions out of bottle. It is unquestionably one of the great Chateauneufs of my lifetime, and I suspect it will merit a three digit score after another 3-4 years of cellaring. The blend is generally 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, and the rest small amounts of Muscardin, Vaccarese, Counoise, and Syrah. It exhibits what is probably the deepest color I have ever seen here, and the finished alcohol is a high (for Clos des Papes) 15.5%...Give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and watch it unleash its glory over the next three decades. This is a prodigious wine of great quality from one of the most important reference point estates."