2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

Product: 20111110487
Prices start from £301.62 per case Buying options
2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

Description

A father-and-son team, Paul and Vincent Avril run the firm and are already established as one of the very finest winemaking 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.

Tasting from foudre is instructive, as Vincent shows four separate examples with only the fourth vat resembling the final blend. The other three, with greater proportions of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, are all superb, needless to say, but the alchemy of the fourth definitive blend is an astonishing illustration of the master blender’s art.
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About this WINE

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.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-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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Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.

 

Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate96/100
Parker91-94/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate96/100
One of the stars of the vintage and coming from absurdly low yields of 18 hectoliters per hectare, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape is a full-bodied, seamless effort that exhibits copious kirsch, ground pepper, dried flowers and underbrush as well as incredibly fine tannin, great mid-palate concentration and ample length on the finish. Relatively forward by this estates standards, it will be approachable at an earlier age than normal. Nevertheless, it will have 20+ years of evolution and is an awesome effort in the vintage. Drink 2015-2030.
Jeb Dunnuck - 31/10/2013 Read more
Parker91-94/100
I tasted through a number of different foudres of the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape red, which came from tiny yields of 18 hectoliters per hectare in what was a relatively prolific harvest for many producers in Chateauneuf du Pape. Proprietor Vincent Avril implemented a severe triage in both the vineyard and cellars. The result is a beautifully made, sexy, hedonistic, up-front red with plenty of mulberry, kirsch and cassis fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and plenty of glycerin and authority. It tips the scales at 15% alcohol. 

This admirably run estate has essentially been practicing biodynamic farming for nearly 15 years, but they were not certified as biodynamic until 2011.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012 Read more