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

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

Product: 20121110487
Prices start from £360.00 per case Buying options
2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

Description

Our 2012 Rhône Vintage Recommendation: Favourite Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes has a wonderfully deep, brooding and brambly depth to the nose and remains powerful throughout, but also opens up to include surprisingly floral and spicy red fruit notes – a magical combination of power and grace. Finishing with a fine pepper spice, this will be a special wine and its development will be a pleasure to track.
Guy Davies, Wine Team

Vincent Avril hadn’t completed his final blend, as usual, so we were treated to a captivating tasting of four cuvées that will make the final 2012 blend. The Grenache lending a beguiling silkiness; Syrah the colour and depth; Mourvèdre that southern spice: all will combine to make what has become one of the very finest Châteauneufs. By the by, anyone lucky enough to have the 2000 and 1999, which we tasted after, should be looking at these two with relish as they were showing supremely well – as indeed this ’12 will in about 2025.
Tom Cave, Cellar Plan Manager

It is hard not to be charmed by Vincent Avril, a man who loves to talk wine in general and Châteauneuf-du-Pape in particular. We always taste the constituent parts of the blend here before tasting the final blend. I can confirm that, once blended, the wine combines the beautiful nose from the Grenache, which reminded me of Chambertin, with the spicy power of the Mouvedre/Syrah dominated cuves in a way that really impressed. This is a classic example of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Matt Tipping, Private Account Manager Vincent’s instructive tasting these days takes us through four different cuvées, one with the most Grenache, the next two with more Syrah and Mourvèdre and the last one a facsimile of the final assemblage. Always the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, with inordinate complexity cushioned by silky purity and beautifully ripe tannins.
Simon Field MW, Rhône Wine Buyer

Just what is it that has made Clos des Papes the most sought-after address in this village? Vincent Avril has much to say, but the key parts of his exposition to me are exceptionally low yields, widely fragmented plots and a refusal to venerate Manon by introduction of a series of deluxe cuvées.  The wine is therefore the definitive statement of a village that is celebrated for blended complexity, deliciously ironic in a man who appears to have a distinctly Burgundian temperament… in a good sense, needless to say!
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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

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate96/100
Leading off the reds in the retrospective, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape hit a whopping 15.7% natural alcohol, yet doesn't show a trace of heat in its gorgeous bouquet of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, Asian spice, cured meats and garrigue. This is followed by a thick, concentrated, seamless 2012 that has the vintage's purity and rounded nature, plenty of sweet tannin, and a killer finish. Already hard to resist, it will cruise for another 15-20 years.
Jeb Dunnuck - 14/09/2015 Read more