Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007
Wine Spectator's Top 100 - #1

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Clos des Papes
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005

98 points / $80
7,500 cases made
France

In the Southern Rhône's recent trio of great vintages starting with 2003, no other Châteauneuf-du-Pape domaine has produced better wines than Clos des Papes. Under Vincent Avril, quality has improved steadily, and the 2003 (97 points) was Wine Spectator's No. 2 wine in 2005. At 98 points, the 2005 is Avril's best wine yet, displaying an enormous core of fruit and minerality along with massive structure. The Clos des Papes red (the estate also produces a white) is a blend of 65 percent Grenache, 20 percent Mourvèdre, 10 percent Syrah and other grapes from 74 acres of vines around Châteauneuf. Avril keeps yields low, picks vineyard blocks separately for ideal ripeness and vinifies the destemmed grapes in ceramic-lined vats. The wine is aged in large wooden foudres for up to 12 months before the final blend is assembled.

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