Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
|Brand||Clos des Papes|
One of the strongest wines in the vintage is the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape from Vincent Avril. This beauty has everything you could ask for. As with the 2018, the blend is heavily shifted toward Mourvèdre, and it offers a mammoth bouquet of black cherries, graphite, cured meats, Asian spices, and assorted garrigue-like nuances. Deep, full-bodied, and concentrated, it stays straight and focused on the palate (whereas the 2016 is more expansive and voluptuous), with a stacked mid-palate, ripe, silky tannins, and fabulous length. You’re going to want bottles of this in the cellar, and comparing the 2007, 2010, 2016, and 2017 over the coming two decades is going to be a treat. Rating: 98+
Paul-Vincent Avril and I tasted from several foudres of the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape. Foudre #17 was Syrah-heavy, with plenty of blueberry and blackberry fruit tinged with licorice. Full-bodied and rich, it was also silky and long (93 - 95 points). Number 19 was 55% Grenache and 45% Mourvèdre, more floral, herbal and spicy, with black cherry fruit and ample concentration (95 - 97 points). From #18, an approximation of the final 60,000-bottle blend, the wine was full-bodied and velvety, ripe and concentrated without going over the top, with cherry and blueberry fruit that lingered on the finish (94 - 96 points). According to Avril, the 2017 will be approximately 45% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the balance mainly Syrah, and a finished alcohol of about 15.3% (less than in 2016).
There's 10% less Grenache in the blend this year, topped up with extra Mourvèdre which certainly makes itself felt. The final assemblage has a lovely depth and concentration of fruit, and is relatively tannic and structured in this vintage. It has plum and violet lift to the aromatic profile, and perhaps sacrifices a little elegance for power and potency in 2017 - not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your taste. A Clos des Papes for the depths of the cellar.
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