2016 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape
Impenetrable midnight black core with a deep dark purple hue. Potent black cherry top notes waft out the glass with black raspberry, dark plum and liquorice scents in hot pursuit. Provincial herbs, traces of incense, light scorched earth, some meatiness and spice are also evident. Incredibly rich and powerful, the palate captures the intensity and freshness of the vintage brilliantly. A tidal wave of succulent ripe black cherry, black raspberry, dark plum and liquorice fruit cascades through the mouth leaving in its wake background elements of incense, scorched earth, provincial herbs, dried meats and spicy pepper. Ripe, rippling tannins impart a slight chewiness and give the wine its muscle. Prodigious length with an enthralling black fruit soaked finish.
Cellar 8-10 years plus
Paul-Vincent Avril continues to be one of the most talented and passionate winemakers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape today. From his estate located on the southern end of the village and pulling from roughly 90 acres of vines spread throughout the appellation, he makes a single white and red Châteauneuf-du-Pape and has resisted the urge to produce any special cuvées. The wine is always a blend of 60% Grenache 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah and the rest a mix of permitted varieties, aged all in older foudre in a temperature-controlled and humidified cellar. His Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a staunchly traditional and world-class wine that always shines for its elegance and texture. Time will tell, but my money is on his 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape being the greatest wine ever made at this address, although the 2007 from my cellar will give it a run for its money.
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!
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. Drink 2020-2040.
Joe Czerwinski- Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate