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Paul Avril Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Rhone, France 2007

Paul Avril Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Rhone, France 2007

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The aging trajectory of top-tier Rhône whites has long incited lively debate. Despite varied opinions, general consensus suggests either drinking the wines young for their fruit or much later after they have emerged from a long, dormant midlife.  It's an odd but useful either/or, one seemingly the unique demesne of the region’s whites. 

Paul-Vincent Avril of Clos des Papes advocates such a view.  He's shared often that his white shows best in the full flush of youth or, alternatively, in the fullness of time, typically meaning a dozen years or more.  I tend to feel that his white CDP really hits its stride about 10-15 years after the vintage.  The treat is one of positive development (almonds, honey) unimpeded from any sense of decline.  

This 2007 sits in just such a sweet spot.  Time has leavened the wine’s early generosity with aromatic suggestions of anise, purple flowers, and a walnut-y complexity that recalls the appeal of oxidative Champagne.  The palate is lovely, full yet lively in the apricot-y vein so particular to this cuvée.  Rich and vigorous in the middle, the fruit gives way to a finish more spicy that juicy, a distinct ginger note lengthening the wine beautifully.  

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