2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril & Fils, Rhône
Beyond the Grenache, there is now 35 percent of Mourvèdre in the blend, sprucing the finish with balanced acidity, with vestigial Vaccarèse and Counoise and, these days, a shade less than 10 percent Syrah. Mediterranean to its core, in other words, with notes of laurel, eucalypt, liquorice and spice framed by beautifully ripe tannins, and a luxuriant core of Grenache, all cashmere silk and seamless indulgence. Black cherry, blueberry and myrtle dominate the fruit character on the mid-palate and the finish is long and refreshing. Drink 2022-2030+.
Simon Field MW - Wine Buyer
Just what is it that has made Clos des Papes the most sought-after address in this village? Vincent Avril has much to say, but the key parts of his exposition to me are exceptionally low yields, widely fragmented plots and a refusal to venerate Mammon by introducing of a series of deluxe cuvées. The wine is therefore the definitive statement of a village that is celebrated for blended complexity, deliciously ironic in a man who appears to have a distinctly Burgundian temperament (in a good sense, needless to say!). This aside, Vincent does not actually vinify by plot, but segregates three or four key blends in the March following harvest, blends which are marked by greater or lesser influence of the minority shareholding grapes and which therefore signal both the character of the vintage and the relative importance of Grenache in the ensemble.
Bottled in May, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a floral, elegant, unbelievably complex wine. Roses and violets, cherries and stone fruit, cinnamon and allspice and more are carried across the full-bodied yet almost weightless palate, finishing in a swirl of silky tannins and lingering spice. Drink it over the next two decades.
Joe Czerwinski - 31/10/2017 (Wine Advocate 97/100)