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

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

Product: 20121110490
2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils

Description

Our 2012 Rhône Vintage Recommendation: Favourite Southern Rhône White
Managing to combine a rounded, smooth soft texture with a lightness of touch, this has attractive fresh almond notes on the nose followed by a spicy freshness with a citrus edge. There’s a long finish with crisp orange peel rounding off a full bodied wine very elegantly. Previous vintages we tried of this alongside suggest an impressive future: the 2007, 2005 and 2001 all drinking fabulously well at different stages of development.
Guy Davies, Wine Team

Big and ripe with notes of mature pear, frangipane and aniseed on the nose. Ripe fruit and saline notes on the palate, crisp and fresh, long, elegant and delicious. In its first flush of youth, this would be great with seafood.
Chris Pollington, Private Account Manager

The white is now almost as celebrated as the red. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Picardin and Picpoul, the wine will rehearse its three ages with Shakespearean aplomb; forward orchard fruit in youth, petrolly oily power  in middle age  and then an elegiac honied dotage. All equally fascinating, equally delicious.
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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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate94/100
Wine Advocate94/100
Looking at Paul-Vincents Chateauneufs, and a rich, voluptuous example of this cuvee that possesses great acidity, the 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc offers up ripe stone fruits, white currants, honeysuckle and licorice to go with a full-bodied, rich and powerful profile on the palate that somehow stays beautifully fresh and focused. Its a gorgeous wine that can be consumed in its fresh and vibrant youth, or cellared for a decade or two. Its a knockout white that should not be missed! Drink now-2032.
Jeb Dunnuck - 31/10/2013 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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