Having bottled Chateauneuf since the end of the nineteenth century and being prominent members in the town since at least two centuries before this, the Avril family of Clos des Papes have made the estate into one of the great established names in Chateauneuf.
The estate is currently run by Paul-Vincent Avril, who attended wine school in Burgundy in the 1980s after working abroad (including a stint at Mount Mary in Victoria with Dr John Middleton) and returned home in 1988 to work with his father Paul. Since then he has succeeded in making what many regard as the single best example of the appellation, producing just one red and one white wine.
The red comes from two dozen parcels of vines and is normally a blend of abut 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah and the remaining 5% being a mix of other permitted varieties. In some vintages, such as 2020, the contribution of the Mourvèdre is higher with a corresponding reduction in the proportion of Grenache. The significant quantities of Mourvèdre give the wine a particular structure. The white is made from nearly equal percentages of six varieties.
Many parcels are co-fermented. The red wine is aged in large foudre of various sizes for 18 months. The white grapes are co-fermented in two batches depending on picking dates. The white wine is aged on lees with no malolactic for 5 months before bottling.
The wines are known for having intensity and richness but also elegance and finesse.
The 2021 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is made with slightly more Grenache and less Syrah than previous vintages. Intermixing aromas of red and black fruits dried herbs white pepper and crushed rocks this 2021 shows slightly less intensity than either the 2020 or 2019. Full-bodied elegant and framed by smooth tannins it is well-balanced by fresh acidity and closes with a savory finish. (Drink between 2026-2046)v