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

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

Product: 20131110490
Prices start from £700.00 per case Buying options
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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12 x 75cl bottle
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Freshness is a hallmark of Vincent Avril’s white wines, which are aged exclusively in stainless steel and do not undergo malolactic fermentation. A fresh, fruity style is also characteristic of the 2013 vintage, so despite its richness and complexity - aromas of citrus, tropical fruits, ginger and a hint of hazelnut - this is remarkably light on its feet.
Will Heslop, Wine Buying All six permitted grapes feature in this excellent white, although Vincent concedes that the percentage of Grenache is only just over seven percent this time, with the slack made up particularly by the Picpoul and the Bourboulenc which add freshness and linear definition to the rich, generous Roussanne. In youth one is treated to notes of pear skin, almond and verbena; with age the wine will develop a Rieslingesque petrol character and then, a little later, a nose of wood-smoke and hazelnut with a rich, decadent palate which will cry out for lobster ‘a la plancha’.
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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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate94/100
Incorporating less Grenache than normal, the 2013 Chteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a beauty! Aged all in tank (no wood) and never going through malolactic fermentation, its beautifully fresh and delineated, with gorgeous apple blossom, white flowers, spice and hints of minerality all emerging from the glass. Medium-bodied and balanced, it can be enjoyed anytime over the coming two decades.
Jeb Dunnuck - 31/10/2014 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 high attention to detail translating into impressively low production levels. 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 140 kilometres an hour, severe heatwaves and drought conditions. Thankfully, they were spared from the latter two in 2020.

When you visit this iconic estate, what stands out most is the complete focus on the vineyard and the absolutely hands-off approach in the cellar. The wines are amongst the purest expression of terroir you could ever wish to taste. There is a magic here that transcends the liquid in the bottle – Clos des Papes is a nonpareil of sheer brilliance.

Vincent is exceptionally happy with his ’20 wines, saying, “I can tell you ’20 is, I think, a great year that will stand the test of time. A very balanced, fine vintage with great freshness, silky tannins and good length in the mouth. Everything was climatically united, both for the red and the white. Currently, ’20 reminds me of ’05 and ’07.”

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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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White Rhône Blend

White Rhône Blend

With the exception of the wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet virtually all Rhône Valley whites are made from blends.

In the north, the white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and St-Péray are produced from blends of Marsanne and Roussanne. Generally Marsanne is the dominant partner and it lends colour, body and weight to the blend, as well as richly scented fruit. Roussanne, a notoriously low yielder and pernickety to grow, produces intensely aromatic wines which contribute bouquet, delicacy and finesse to the blend.

Until about 15 years ago there was very little interest in southern Rhône whites as it was widely believed that the combination of dull non aromatic grapes and the baking summer heat meant quality wine production was nigh impossible. Since then the quality has improved markedly through the introduction of cool fermentation techniques and increased plantings of northern Rhône white grapes.

The base of many blends is still Grenache Blanc, a widely planted variety producing fresh wines with apple-like fruits, often with hints of aniseed. Ugni Blanc is still found in many blends, as is Clairette though their general lack of character and definition has led to a reduction in plantings. The future for southern Rhône whites appears to lie with Roussanne, Marsanne, and, increasingly, Viognier.

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