ABOUT: The Avril family has been producing Chateauneuf-du-Pape under the Clos des Papes label since 1896. The patriarch of Clos des Papes was the second Paul Avril who ran the property from the mid 1960's to the mid 1980's, who served as the head of the growers' syndicate and the regional representative to the INAO. His son Paul Vincent AVril took the wheel of their 35 hectares of super old vines in 1987 and gradually brought biodynamics into the fold. The property has been practicing biodynamics for the last 15 years and became officially certified in 2011.These are robust wines that will happily age 20 years, and have proven to age magnificently for 50 years or more. So get this 2011 to sip or store, either move is smart.
TASTE: The blend is traditional for Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 65% Grenache, 20% Mouvèdre, and 10% Syrah, with the remainder being a smattering of the other grapes allowed in the appellation. The wine is fermented in tanks and then spends 14-15 months in foudres. Spicy, floral, rich and sappy, weighing in around 15% alcohol equally a full, fat body with a rich, viscous mouth feel. That being said there is perfectly balanced acidity keeping things clean and refreshing, rather than cloying. Cherry and raspberry fruit flavors abound, slightly candied, and a clean, long finish that lasts an entire episode of Breaking Bad.
PAIR: Rosemary roasted wild mushrooms, white bean mash with thyme, Roquefort stuffed peppers, Epoisses and apple tart, and black pepper stir-fry tofu.