Red, For laying down

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

Red | For laying down | Paul Avril et Fils | Code: 22176 | 2012 | France > Rhône > Chateauneuf du Pape | Southern Rhône Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 15.0 % alcohol

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Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£540.00
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Magnum 3 x 150cl1cs

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Scores and Reviews

WA

95-98/100

WA - Tasted from multiple foudres, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape is stunning! Showing surprising depth and concentration in the vintage, with full-bodied richness and texture, all of the samples showed perfumed, complex aromatics, fantastic mid-palates and serious back-end structure. Less forward than the 2011, with plenty of oomph, it will most likely require short-term cellaring to come around, and have a broad drink window.

One of the benchmark estates, Clos des Papes covers close to 90 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and is run by the incredibly talented Paul-Vincent Avril. Favoring a single cuvee, his Chateauneuf du Pape is always a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre 10% Syrah and the rest a mix of Vaccarese, Counoise and Muscardin. No new oak is used in the winery and all new barrels and foudre see three vintages of his non-vintage Le Petit Vin d’Avril before being used for his grand vin. Starting out, the two non-vintage Le Petit Vin d’Avril are both beautifully made (the vines are farmed just like Paul-Vincent Chateauneuf du Pape terroirs and the yields are miniscule) and well worth checking out.
Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013

The Producer

Paul Avril et Fils

Paul Avril et Fils

A father-and-son team, Paul and Vincent Avril run the firm and are already established as one of the very finest wine making-partnerships in the southern Rhône. The domaine's situation is not helped by having plots of vines scattered throughout the area, but this does mean that they can spread the length of harvesting over a longer period of time and get the very best from each of their sites.

The blend, though this will vary annually depending on conditions, is predominantly Grenache (65%) with the remaining being made up of Mourvèdre, Syrah and a tiny amount of Counoise. Châteauneuf-du-Pape comes in many guises, its popularity has led to unscrupulous merchants driving prices up, and therefore quality down, to achieve light, thin wines that are frequently part-vinified by the carbonic maceration process more often seen in a Beaujolais.

To find the true character of these wonderful wines which age so well, one has to search out the dedicated growers such as the Avrils.

The Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

The Region

Chateauneuf du Pape

Chateauneuf du Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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