I tasted through various foudres of the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape and it is unquestionably a top-flight wine for Clos des Papes that is seductive and forward by the standards of this estate. It reminded me of the precocious style of the 2003, and Avril told me the 2009 is less alcoholic than either the 2003 or 2007, and the pH is a normal 3.75. Yields were a very small 20 hectoliters per hectare, largely because of their selection process and the drought. Every foudre I tasted was beautifully pure displaying a deep ruby/plum color, sweet kirsch and black raspberry fruit, full body, decent acidity (they never acidify here) and sweet, velvety tannins. This should turn out to be a mid-90-point wine that will take a back seat to the 2007, possibly even to their monumental 2006, but will surpass what they did in 2008, 2005, 2004, 1999 and 1998. The 2009 is a beautiful success that should drink well for 15 years.
Deep ruby. Intensely perfumed cherry, garrigue and flowers on the nose, plus notes of licorice and smoky Moroccan spices. At once fleshy and sappy, with incisive, spicy red fruit flavors complicated by herbs and floral pastilles. Finishes spicy and with superb intensity, echoing the spice and floral notes emphatically.