I spent this morning touring the new winery that Vincent Avril has built at Clos des Papes and hugely impressive it is too…a wonderful meeting of tradition ( concrete cuve; old foudre) and state of the art inox equipment, gravity feed design, sexy polished concrete floors and framed old CDP wine fair posters in the tasting room. My excuse for being there? I had challenged Vincent at the recent Symposium to check out one of my bottles of his 2000 blanc….a number of us had not been certain of its condition, could it have been faulty? What I received for my cheek ,from the very charming and generous Vincent was a masterclass in the very special way that white CDP can evolve in the bottle. We compared a recent vintage , my 2000 and another 2000 from his vino-tech….Vincent explained that his un-wooded blanc ( roughly even parts Grenache, Roussanne, Bourbolenc, Picpoul and Clairette), no malo, goes through 3 distinct phases : 1. Fresh/fruity in the first 2 years, then mineral…with sometimes ( very markedly in the case of my bottles) a petrol character not unlike the nose of a reisling but perhaps more pungent still, and 3. finally after c.10 years it matures to a honey/roasted nut character. His 2000 was already in the latter camp mine still stuck in the middle period….will just have to sit it out. Fascinating visit, fabulous wines.