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
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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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate96/100
Robert Parker91-94/100
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
Robert 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

About this WINE

Paul Avril et Fils

Paul Avril et Fils

With Vincent Avril at the helm, Clos des Papes is one of the most highly regarded properties, not only in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but in the world of wine. This family estate has been certified organic for 15 years, with such high attention to detail often translating into impressively low production levels.

The 2019 vintage has come as a blessing to Clos des Papes. After the disasters of hail damage in 2017 followed by severe mildew pressure in 2018 (leading to tiny yields of 9hl/ha), it is brilliant to see that the new vintage is both extremely high in quality as well as generous in quantity. As ever, the fundamental work at this wonderful estate is firmly focused on getting things right in the vineyard, managing the synergy between the vines and the challenges that local weather can bring. Given that the vines here average over 50 years of age, they are firmly prepared and able to withstand many ordeals, including Mistral winds at 140km/hr and, in the case of 2019, a severe heatwave and drought conditions.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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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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