As always, I tasted through all the different foudres, and the 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape, which will have essentially the same blend, is a much less powerful wine than the 2007. Made from some of the smallest yields ever (16 hectoliters per hectare), with 14.7% alcohol, the 2008 should turn out to be a very good, elegant effort vaguely reminiscent of their 1999. It exhibits a deep ruby color as well as abundant black cherry fruit intermixed with notions of licorice, herbs, and earth, medium body, and good purity, depth, and ripeness. It should drink well at a young age, an anomaly for Clos des Papes, and keep for 10-12 years. (Not yet released)
Score: 89/92, Robert Parker,
Wine Advocate (185), October 2009
Vincent Avril fashioned one of the finest 2008 Chateauneuf du Papes of the appellation. Made from a classic blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and the rest an assortment of permitted varietals, it exhibits a dark color as well as a bouquet of lavender, kirsch, licorice, loamy balsamic notes and hints of roasted meats and herbs. Evolved by this estate’s standards, it is an elegant effort with surprising density and richness. I actually prefer it to the 2005 (which was The Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year). The 2008 should drink nicely for 10-15 years.
Score: 91, Robert Parker,
Wine Advocate (191), October 2010