Jean-Paul Autard carries on the tradition established by his father Paul when he founded their family’s domaine in the village of Courthezon in the early 1970s. Today, Autard cultivates 26 hectares of vines, of which 12 are in Chateauneuf du Pape and 14 in Cotes du Rhone. He feels privileged to have inherited a domaine in which the plantings of different grape varieties are perfectly adapted to the various soil types -- ranging from galets roulés, limestone pebbles and clay, and sandy-clay -- in the domaine’s various parcels. He aims to get the most out of each variety by vinifying separately and then blending judiciously. The grapes are destalked and fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with only the native yeasts present on the grape’s skins. After the malolactic fermentation, the wines are transferred to barriques for aging, about one third of which are new for the “normale” cuvée and 100% new for the Cuvée La Cote Ronde and Juline. Since 2004, Jean-Paul has been working in his new state-of-the-art winery, which allows him greatly enhanced control over all phases of winemaking, and a concomitant increase in quality. His unique style, fusing elegance, balance and generously expressive Chateauneuf-du-Pape flavor, has won his wines an international following.
Jean Paul Autard’s vineyard practice aims to achieve a perfect balance between and soil and the vine. He is guided by the practice known as culture raisonnée. Autard does not need to green harvest because his vines average over 50 years of age (they are between 40-96 years old). The vines’ age, together with the limited use of only organic fertilizer, naturally ensures low yields and concentrated, balanced fruit. No pesticides or chemical anti-rot products or fertilizers are used. The health of the vineyard is ensured by meticulous work by hand, such as the removal in May and June of unessential shoots and leaves that would block the proper aeration of the vines. Jean-Paul is able to eliminate the possibility of problems such as rot and mildew by not allowing humidity to remain on the grapes and leaves.
This isn't shy, with flashy mocha, toasted raisin, cinnamon and pastis aromas rushing forth, but there's sleek, integrated structure and solid layers of linzer torte, plum pâte de fruit and bramble to fill it out. A tarry edge lingers on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2026. Sep 30, 2012
A sensational effort, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee La Cote Ronde reveals a touch of toasty oak in the aromatics, but it is beautifully integrated with kirsch, roasted Provencal herb, espresso and black currant aromas. This full-throttle, masculine and rich wine possesses sweet tannins as well as good integration of structure and acidity. It is built for the long haul, yet can be drunk in 2-3 years or cellared for two decades. #203Oct 2012
"Opaque purple. Ripe, smoke-accented aromas of blueberry, cassis, violet and vanilla, with a peppery topnote. Lush, deeply pitched dark fruit flavors pick up a bitter chocolate nuance in the glass, along with a hint of licorice. Dusty tannins build with air and add firm grip to a long, spicy finish. This wine possesses strong material but needs some time to stretch out.
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