2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

Product: 20131110487
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2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

Description

One of the few CDNP estates to use all permitted varieties, this served Vincent well in 2013 where Mourvèdre and Syrah came to the rescue of a less productive Grenache. It comprises 55 percent Grenache, 30 percent Mourvèdre, 10 percent Syrah and five percent of other varieties (Counoise, Vaccarèse and so on). I tasted through a numbers of foudres of different coopers and age which had already seen six months élevage and will see another six months ageing before bottling. Upon tasting an assemblage of all those foudres it became obvious that the higher presence of Mourvèdre is positively felt on the nose with firm black berries mingling with small, black olive notes, and lovely mixed spices on the back palate. A beautifully hedonistic wine which might not have the power of past vintages but which, at 14.8 percent, is certainly not fragile or lacking in mouth feel and body. The Grenache has managed to make a most valuable contribution, adding freshness and a Pinot-like silky quality to the tannins.
Fine Wine Team The Papal indulgence in 2013 comprises 55 percent Grenache, 30 percent Mourvèdre, 10 percent Syrah and five percent other varieties (Counoise, Vaccarèse and so on) The higher presence of Mourvèdre is positively felt on the nose with firm blackberries mingling with small, black olive notes, and lovely, mixed spices on the back palate. A beautifully hedonistic wine which might not have the power of past vintages but which, at 14.8 percent, is certainly not fragile or lacking in mouthfeel and body. The Grenache has managed to make a most valuable contribution, adding freshness and a Pinot-like, silky quality to the tannins.
Simon Field MW - Rhône Buyer

Clos des Papes is now the address in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – indeed, many would contend in the whole Rhône Valley. The great work started by Paul Avril has now been continued by his son Vincent, one of the most widely-travelled, generous and gifted vignerons in France. The multiplicity of sites, allied to the minute yields (13.5 hectolitres per hectare is hardly commercially viable) have ensured that in 2013 the difficult conditions, especially for the Grenache, have been circumnavigated. In a year when Mourvèdre was on occasion harvested before Grenache, it comes as no surprise that the former takes up a higher percentage of the wine than usual-30 percent Mourvèdre compared to 55 percent Grenache, the latter of which usually accounts for 60 percent or more. The harvest was eventually finished on 18th October and Vincent compares it to 2004 and 2011, the earlier year drinking exquisitely now, the more recent one still far too young to appreciate fully but not lacking in potential. Vincent’s wines are symphonic in scope but precise in detail.
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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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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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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate92/100
Jancis19/20

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate92/100
Tasted out of bottle, the 2013 Chteauneuf du Pape comes from miniscule yields of 13 hectoliter per hectare (25-39 hectoliters per hectare is normal for the appellation), and hits 14.8% natural alcohol. It has a darker, slightly more concentrated, austere feel than the 2014, and has ample kirsch, blackberry, peppery and crushed rock-like aromas and flavors. Vincent commented that he thinks this vintage will shut down after a few years in bottle, so if youre going try one in its youth, find the corkscrew. While obviously not a great wine, its certainly outstanding and has considerable charm and elegance. It will also have 10-15 years of overall longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck - 30/10/2015 Read more
Jancis19/20
For the first time since 2001, Vincent Avril assembled the wine before putting it into his precious foudres because the crop was so small. The resulting blend is 55% Grenache (as opposed to the more usual 65%), 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah (more than usual). After an extremely tricky year in the vineyard, the vinification was easy. Strict selection was needed because the vines were not in perfect shape. I tasted wines from a range of foudres and found them truly beautiful. It was the energy that was so remarkable after notably meaty, savoury aromas. Muscular, absolutely not heavy on the Grenache, these wines were very different from usual. Very ripe and cool but not skinny. Lovely polish but not over 'made'. Admirably supple and refined. Even elegant. He says 'burgundian' (his highest form of praise). The final alcohol level is only an estimation. 14.5%. Drink 2012-2024
Jancis Robinbson - jancisrobinson.com - 30-Oct-2014 Read more