2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

Product: 20111110490
2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

Description

This is a wonderful blend of all the permitted white Châteauneuf-du-Pape grape varietals. Very complex with almond, mineral and lime characters leading to hints of honey and ground nuts that this style develops, given time. The aromatics keep changing with floral prettiness, mineral notes and white pepper dominating the long finish.
Laura Atkinson, Private Account Manager

All six white varieties are given pretty much equal billing here (Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Picardin, Bourboulenc, Roussanne and Picpoul, as if you didn’t know). The white goes through three distinct ages; from almost tropical hazelnut and pineapple favours of youth, to Riesling almond essence fascination after seven years and then finally, later on, to the calm wisdom begat of honey, flint and remembrance of times past.
Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer

A variety of pleasing coincidences allowed me to taste chez Vincent Avril no fewer than three times in 2012, a huge, rare privilege and proof, were proof needed, of his dedication and thoughtful approach to vinification. He compares 2011 to 2001, but also senses that it has 2/3 of the character of 2009 and 1/3 of 2008. His love of Mourvèdre over Syrah is cleverly illustrated and his anxiety at the fact that over 70% of the village’s crop is sold en vrac perhaps explains that in order to make wine as superlative as this, one has to farm at a parsimonious 18 hl/hr.
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate92/100
Jancis Robinson MW17.5/20
Robert Parker92/100
Wine Advocate92/100
The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is composed of all the white varietals permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape. Although it is not put through malolactic fermentation and sees no oak whatsoever, this cuvee has proven to age remarkably well. The 2011 exhibits lots of poached pear, honeysuckle, quince and white currants as well as a full-bodied, powerful (15.6% natural alcohol) style. It reveals lots of glycerin along with wonderful freshness, acidity and purity. The 2011 should last for 10-12 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 31/10/2012 Read more
Jancis Robinson MW17.5/20
Great richness and energy and direct appeal. Great rich yet interesting herbal nose. Such richness and freshness. Lemon oil, herbs and ginger. Long. Suggested drinking dates 2012-14 and then 2018-22. The white is always the same varieties including Bourboulenc and Piquepoul vinified together, no oak and no malo. Bottled in February.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com – 26 Feb 2013 Read more
Robert Parker92/100
The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is composed of all the white varietals permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape. Although it is not put through malolactic fermentation and sees no oak whatsoever, this cuvee has proven to age remarkably well. The 2011 exhibits lots of poached pear, honeysuckle, quince and white currants as well as a full-bodied, powerful (15.6% natural alcohol) style. It reveals lots of glycerin along with wonderful freshness, acidity and purity. The 2011 should last for 10-12 years. 

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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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.

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