2011 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the stars of the vintage and coming from absurdly low yields of 18 hectoliters per hectare, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape is a full-bodied, seamless effort that exhibits copious kirsch, ground pepper, dried flowers and underbrush as well as incredibly fine tannin, great mid-palate concentration and ample length on the finish. Relatively forward by this estate’s standards, it will be approachable at an earlier age than normal. Nevertheless, it will have 20+ years of evolution and is an awesome effort in the vintage. Drink 2015-2030. One of the benchmark estates, Clos des Papes covers close to 90 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and is run by the incredibly talented Paul-Vincent Avril. Favoring a single cuvee, his Chateauneuf du Pape is always a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre 10% Syrah and the rest a mix of Vaccarese, Counoise and Muscardin. No new oak is used in the winery and all new barrels and foudre see three vintages of his non-vintage Le Petit Vin d’Avril before being used for his grand vin. Starting out, the two non-vintage Le Petit Vin d’Avril are both beautifully made (the vines are farmed just like Paul-Vincent Chateauneuf du Pape terroirs and the yields are miniscule) and well worth checking out. (JD)
Delivers a beautifully pure and velvety note of cassis that holds sway over an ample range of blackberry paste, blood orange, singed apple wood and bergamot notes. The long finish shows succulent flesh and a buried iron accent. The grip is integrated, the acidity mouthwatering and the depth impressive for the vintage. Best from 2015 through 2030.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby. Smoky cherry, red berry and potpourri scents show excellent clarity and pick up spiciness with aeration. Stains the palate with intense black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, with a sexy floral pastille quality adding complexity. Finishes with impressive energy and thrust, firmed by fine-grained tannins and piquant minerality. Avril thinks that this will be an ager based on its balance.