Mission Codename All roads lead to...
“…an incredible wine that I wish every reader could taste.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Here’s your chance to savor one of the greatest flagships from all the Southern Rhône.
Keep in mind a bottle of Château Rayas will set you back $2,000 or more. But this, a near-perfect 98 pointer (plus two 95s) grown from vines adjacent to Rayas that can be had for $79.
Seems too good to be true, right?
The similarities are striking - all but the price. Like Château Rayas, it’s 100% pure Grenache. It flirts with perfection at this young stage and might be worthy of a 100-point rating in a few years. It’s an all-time great and one of the best for the 2019 vintage.
The Bréchet family has been making wine for centuries, as one of the oldest estates in the region, established in 1767. Like many of the great producers in the Rhône, they worked with the late master consultant Philippe Cambie to elevate their style and make huge leaps in quality. Cambie was like a winemaking prophet, a Grenache wizard; the guy Rhône winemakers called on to reach their highest potential. That is if Cambie saw them worth taking on as a client.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate brings us up to date “One of the appellation’s great success stories, Château de Vaudieu has blossomed under the leadership of Laurent Bréchet and the consultantship of Philippe Cambie. It remains to be seen how the wine style might evolve now that Cambie has passed away, but the vintages reviewed this year reflect a master at the height of his talent.”
A serious “desert island” wine here. SO good. It floods the senses with a rush of tantalizing aromas and flavors. Perfumed, strawberry, kirsch, cherry compote, red whips, and incredible minerality and garrigue. Most impressively, it was ripe and opulent enough to sweep Zin-centric Agent Cru off his feet, while it also blew Agent Noir’s Francophile mind, and sang loudly to Agent Malbec’s Pinot-lover palate, too. We thought we saw Agent Rhone’s eyes getting watery… It’s a showstopper “WOW” wine that we’ll gladly take back if it doesn’t knock your socks off.
Just one whiff and sip, and you’ll be convinced why it’s a $120 blue chip. At $79, there’s not much to think about. Sadly, not much to share either. ONLY 600 bottles were imported as a matter of fact, so there’s that.
98 Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“Château de Vaudieu is located in the center of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, just south of Rayas. The estate is impeccably run by Laurent Bréchet with the winemaking falling to consultant Philippe Cambie. Today they release a number of special cuvees based largely on individual parcels around the Domaine. The winemaking can be thought of as quasi-modern, with most of the wines destemmed and brought up in older barrels and demi-muids. New oak is kept to a minimum and the wines always show Provençal, elegant characters. In addition to the brilliant reds, this estate fashions some of the greatest whites in the appellation! The 2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape L’Avenue is also an incredible wine that I wish every reader could taste. More white flowers, chalky minerality, camphor, and leather notes emerge on the nose, and it’s more focused and chiseled compared to the broader, sexier Amiral G., yet its purity of fruit is incredible, it’s flawlessly balanced, and it too will have two decades of prime drinking. This cuvée is 100% Grenache from vines near the estate and more red clay soils. It was destemmed and brought up all in demi-muids. Drink 2021-2041.”
What the Winery Says
2019 'L'Avenue' Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- Phillippe Cambie
- 100% Grenache
- Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône Valley
- FIne sand and large galets
- Vineyard size
- 4.5 hectares
- Average vine age
- 40 years
- 18 months demi-muids