55% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah
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 32 ha, 3 of which is with white varieties. 24 different parcels are spread around the town, and a parcel is nearby the “Pope’s Castle” and has been surrounded by walls (clos), which is where the name of the domain originates. These wines are very limited and always in high demand.
What The Critics Say
19/20 Jancis Robinson
"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. 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. Drink 2022 - 2034"
93-95/100 Vinous, Josh Raynolds
"Vivid ruby-red. Potent raspberry, potpourri and garriguescents expand with air, picking up smoke and mineral nuances and a hint of olive. Sweet and seamless in texture, offering intense cassis and red berry compote flavors and a touch of licorice. Blends richness and vivacity smoothly, finishing spicy, focused and very long, with dusty tannins adding grip."
91-93/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck
"Looking at the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape, which is still aging in foudre, Paul-Vincent normally does four separate blends and keeps them in separate foudre (one with more Mourvedre, one with more Syrah, etc.) before blending everything together prior to bottling. However, due to the miniscule crop in 2013, he was only able to do a single blend. Nevertheless, I was able to taste it from multiple foudres (and unsurprisingly, each showed dramatically different), with most rating in the low to mid-90s. From excruciatingly low yields and hitting 14.8% alcohol, it’s clearly an outstanding wine and has pretty, complex aromatics, excellent concentration, medium to full-bodied richness and lively acidity. There’s a slight Burgundian feel here, and I suspect it will be reasonably approachable in its youth, with 10-12 years of overall longevity. Drink 2015 - 2025."
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