“This is one of the great estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, with a history that dates back to the mid-1700s. I believe the Avril family first estate-bottled wine in 1896. Clos des Papes, with its 90+ acres of vines spread among 24 separate parcels in the appellation is one of the traditional hallmarks of classic, long-lived Chateauneuf du Pape. Everything is aged in old wood foudres, no old vine or luxury cuvee is produced, and the red wine is a classic blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarese, Counoise, and Muscardin. It is generally not fined or filtered after aging 15 months in these old wood foudres. The white wine is an equal-part blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Picpoul, Bourboulenc, and one could argue that it might possibly be the longest-lived dry white of the appellation.” Robert Parker The Wine Advocate
“2014: The polar opposite of 2013, the 2014 vintage yielded forward, open knit and charming wines that should be ready to go on release and evolve relatively quickly. Looking at the wines, the quality is similar to, or a small step up over, the ’13s, yet the wines are dramatically different in style. Where the 2013s are more austere and dark fruited, the 2014s are open, knit, supple and charming, with more pleasure bent personalities. The wines show the higher yields and slightly more sunny nature of the vintage, but are at times dilute and lack phenolic ripeness. The acidity levels are similar to 2013 and alcohol levels are down slightly as well. When all is said and done, this vintage will deliver more pleasure than 2013, yet not be as long lived. It’s worth noting that more estates released special cuvees in 2014. As to the whites, there’s lots of enthusiasm from the vignerons, and they’re certainly fresh and vibrant, but most lack concentration, texture and length. It’s a good, not great, vintage for the whites. They’ll gain a touch more richness over the coming 6-12 months, but most are early drinkers and quaffable.” Erobertparker.com #221 October 2015
65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre + 5% Counoise, Vaccarese and Muscardin
“From yields in range of 15 hectolitre per hectare, the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of the 2008 and reveals a healthy ruby color to go with the classic kirsch, dried flowers and spice notes that I always find in Avril’s wines. Showing an almost Pinot Noir-like texture with medium to full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and outstanding length, it will certainly be one of the more approachable, forward wines from this estate, and it should be a low to mid-nineties scoring effort.
As I commented in my recent retrospective article, Clos des Pape is one of the reference point estates for traditional, age-worthy Châteauneuf du Pape. (92-94)” Jeb Dunnuck erobertparker.com #221 Oct 2015