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Vincent Avril quite rightly considers 2020 a great vintage. He is usually loath to compare years, but concedes that there are similarities to 2015: “2020 is elegant, but with a little more structure than 2015. Perhaps between 2015 and 2005 in profile. I like this style of vintage, less powerful and more elegant, but with the possibility to age well.”

We whole-heartedly agree. The red enthralled us with its silkiness, freshness and perfectly judged balance between complexity and charm; the white is even-keeled, crisp and classically styled without lacking ripeness or texture. In our minds 2020 is an outstanding Clos des Papes vintage, a notch above the more concentrated but less elegant 2019.

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We're pleased to offer:

Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape 2020 (pre-arrival)
30 bottles available, $89 per bottle


98+ points Decanter "A very Clos des Papes vintage,' says Vincent Avril, and I know what he means - a vintage that naturally delivers the kind of fresh, elegant wines that this estate is famous for. A tasting of several foudres point to a wine with natural, easy balance. The Mourvèdre is excellent here this year, and adds great depth to the fresh and delightful Grenache that has notes of black tea, black cherry and iron. Elegant and very fine. Drinking Window 2023 - 2042."

98 points WA "Proprietor Paul-Vincent Avril expects to bottle 100,000 bottles of something approximating this "final blend," tasted out of foudre. A blend of 55% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah and other permitted varieties, the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape looked exceptional on this day, offering up scents of framboise and kirsch alongside dried flowers and Asian spices. Full-bodied yet weightless, silky and long, this is special stuff, complex and balanced. Like many of the producers I visited in late 2021, Paul-Vincent Avril seemed happy to receive a visitor after so many months of virtual isolation. "We've had a good summer—not too hot," he said. The estates parcels were, however, badly affected by frost in the spring. His team began picking on September 20, paused over the following weekend for rain, and he expected them to finish on October 2. "The phenolic maturity is there, the sugars are there," Avril said. "No, it won't be like 2019, but I think we will come in around 14.5–15 degrees [of alcohol]. I think, I don't like to say before the vintage is finished." Of the vintages reviewed here, Avril said he finds the 2019 "more powerful and rich," comparing it to 2016 and 2007, whereas he calls the 2020 "really elegant." Clos des Papes farms 24 different parcels in the appellation, and Avril said they all bring something important to the blend. "Chateauneuf de Pape is a blend—a blend of grapes and a blend of the terroirs." 


Clos des Papes Blanc Chateauneuf du Pape 2020 (in stock)
4 bottles available, $89 per bottle

97 points Decanter "Citrusy and grapefruit-led thanks to the Bourboulenc. Touch of anise, touch of fennel, lovely acidity and freshness, with a gentle saline line. Generous but only just full-bodied, this shows liveliness and more depth than many white Châteauneufs this year. Long finish. No malolactic and no oak use. (Drink between 2022-2042)"

96 points WA "Clos des Papes has white varieties in only three of its 24 vineyard parcels, but the resulting wine is a blend of all permitted varieties, in roughly equal proportions. The 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is outstanding, offering up scents of pineapple and tangerine, coupled with floral overtones. Full-bodied but clean and zesty, it's somehow plump and rich, but paradoxically light and refreshing. I enjoy these wines young, but proprietor Paul-Vincent Avril opened a still-delicious 2001 during this visit, so there is an argument to be made for aging this wine.



Subject to final confirmation / remaining unsold.  

COURTIER | 510 926 6565
DIRECT |
 415 350 3127 (Michael)
michael.glasby@courtierwines.com
DIRECT | 503 602 0306 (Mark)
mark.royer@courtierwines.com
2266 Central Street #3A
Richmond, CA 94801
courtierwines.com

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