Clos des Papes

Clos des Papes Southern Rhône, France.

Clos des Papes is one of the great established names of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and in recent years has produced a succession of remarkable wines made by Paul-Vincent Avril.

For the red Chateauneuf, Clos des Papes uses up to 20% of Mourvedre in the blend. Grenache and Syrah are the other main components at around 50% and 10% respectively, with the balance being a mix of all the other permitted varieties. Clos des Papes is one of the few estates to use all permitted varieties for both red and white Chateauneuf. They are well-known for producing one of the most authentic and long-lived examples of the appellation having started estate bottling in 1896. The white Chateauneuf-du-Pape also ages extremely well providing great drinking pleasure for 20 years or more. It is made from almost equal percentages of all the permitted white varieties. The property has today 32ha, of which 3ha is planted to white varieties. 24 different parcels are spread around the town. A parcel is nearby the pope’s castle and has been surrounded by walls (clos). From here came the name of the domain. These wines are very limited and always in high demand.

Producer of the Year 2010 Paul-Vincent Avril, CLOS DES PAPES
Le Grand Guide des Vins de France 2010, Bettane & Desseauve

2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (blanc)
Made from roughly equal quantities of all 6 permitted white varieties, Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussanne, Picpoul and Picardin fermented cool and kept on lees for 5 months, no malolactic. These whites have not only amazing richness and depth, but also fabulous acidity and structure enabling them to age effortlessly for 2 or decades.

‘Pale yellow. A powerful, complex bouquet evokes fresh Meyer lemon, pear nectar, iodine and jasmine, and a chalky mineral topnote adds vivacity. Sappy, penetrating citrus and orchard fruit nectar and honeysuckle flavors stain the palate and display a compelling blend of richness and finesse, delivering serious power but no undue weight. Finishes juicy, taut and extremely long, delivering impressive, youthful tension and a repeating floral quality. I expect this wine to age along the lines of a serious white Burgundy. Drink 2021-2030.’ 94 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2017.

2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (blanc)
‘Incorporating less Grenache than normal, the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a beauty! Aged all in tank (no wood) and never going through malolactic fermentation, it’s 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. Drink 2015-2033.’ 94 points, Jeb Dunnuck, RobertParker.com, October 2014.

2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
‘(raised in foudres) Deep ruby. Hugely aromatic red and dark berry, potpourri and floral scents are underscored by smoky minerality and an exotic suggestion of Asian spices. Sappy, focused and impressively deep yet lively, offering alluringly sweet raspberry, cherry compote and spicecake flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of blood orange. Puts on weight and spreads out steadily with air, acquiring a succulent herb note that carries through the strikingly long, mineral-laced, gently tannic finish. This beauty is shaping up to be among the standouts of this extremely successful vintage.’ (94-96) Josh Raynolds, Vinous, March 2017.

2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
‘(bottled with 14.3% alcohol and a pH of 3.7): Deep ruby. Highly perfumed scents of candied dark berries, cola and lavender oil develop a suave, smoky Indian spice nuance. Fleshy, expansive red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors display an impressive blend of richness and energy, picking up a mineral flourish with air. Finishes juicy, sweet and very long, displaying lingering, spice-tinged dark fruit flavors and slow-building tannins.’ (93-95) Josh Raynolds, Vinous, April 2016.

Petit Vin d’Avril (rouge)
Grenache based blend of 2012 from tank and 2011 from foudre this is clearly the best issue yet of this amazing value red blend.

Petit Vin d’Avril (blanc)
Blend of 99% Marsanne and 1% Chardonnay tank fermented and matured on lees for 5 months. Perfumed, fleshy and textural.