Clos des Papes

Back Vintage Rhône Wines: Clos des Papes CDP Blanc 2008 - 2015; Saint-Joseph and Saint-Peray from Bernard Gripa, 2011 - 2020!

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We're very happy to send this small offer of  whites and reds from Domaine Gripa (Saint-Joseph and  Saint-Peray) and  some extraordinary Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blancs from Vincent Avril at Clos des Papes. The wines are sourced from the US importer and have been professionally stored, of course, in a temperature-controlled warehouse.

Domaine Bernard and Fabrice Gripa, Mauves

Located in Mauves, in the heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation, Domaine Bernard Gripa is a fourth-generation domaine, with the first estate-bottled wines made by Bernard  in 1974. His son Fabrice took over in 1997 but Bernard has remained a presence and is still in charge of plowing the vineyards. The domain has a very high percentage of white grapes with roughly half of the vineyards being Marsanne and Roussanne in terraced vineyards on granite soils in Saint-Joseph, granite and limestone/clay soils in Saint-Peray.

Old vines at Domaine Gripa

"An extremely good domaine for very classy white wines that combine Marsanne and Roussanne. The special whites - Le Berceau Saint-Joseph and Figuiers Saint-Péray - demand some ageing to integrate their oak. They are fine and well-structured. The Figuiers stands out thanks to its mature Roussanne content [vines from 1960-62, around 65% of the wine], all top grade wines, very much on grace and finesse. This is a top domaine at Saint-Joseph and Saint-Péray, and the wines can be followed with confidence." - drinkrhone

We were able to taste the 2011 and 2014 "les Figuiers" this week and found them to be beautiful, very elegant Northern Rhone whites - great "food wines" - a bit under the radar and worthy of a palce on your table. We especially loved the more mature 2014.

We recently tasted a 2012 Gonon Saint-Joseph which was really singing, so we're happy to offer (only 24 bottles, less one for the staff) of the 2012 from Gripa ("regular" cuvee, not the "Berceau") which the importer says is "in a great place right now." It's a very good, bright fruited vintage in the northern Rhone. The 2015 is a deep, dark and very authentic Saint-Joseph but a bit young - we would recommend a few hours open or another 3 to 5 years in the cellar for the 2015.

Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Clos des Papes is of course one of the great established names of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The family has been living in the village for centuries and were among the people who created the appellation, the first in France to do so. It is currently run by winemaker Paul-Vincent Avril who attended wine school in Burgundy in the 1980’s, and after working abroad returned home to work with his father Paul in 1988. Since then he has succeeded to make what many regard as the best single example of the appellation, producing just one red wine and one white wine – no special cuvees. Farming here has always been with organic methods, certified since 2011. The estate's outstanding white wine is made from 3 hectares on clay-sandy, galet stone covered soils mainly on La Croze, usually from equal shares of Grenache blanc (richness), Roussanne (gras), Clairette (elegance), Bourboulenc (acidity), Picpoul (acidity), Picardin (elegance, since 2000). “Picpoul & Bourboulenc hyper important for the acidity in the wine” - Vincent Avril. Steel vat fermented at 12°-16°C, raised on lees 6 - 12 months, malo blocked. "The whites drink well in their first couple of years, then back off, close down, and emerge as more complex, stimulating wines around seven years' old (Vincent likes to drink them at around 15 years' old); they live well and deserve a top table accompaniment - classic examples of slow-burn wines that will age majestically" - drinkrhone

We were able to taste the 2008 on Thursday - It's an extraordinary, almost mature CDP Blanc that will pair magnificently with a wide variety of elegant cuisines - it's very highly recommended! Also in today's offer are the 2009, 2012 and 2015 vintages, we attach reviews from our favorite Rhone authority, John Livingstone-Learmonth in drinkrhone.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, and please take a moment to consider these outstanding wines, with the older examples providing an extraordinary tasting experience and beautiful pairings with fine cuisine...

All wines will be available for pick-up/shippng by Friday, June 2nd. Net priced.

 

Clos des Papes 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

The estate's outstanding white wine is made from 3 hectares on clay-sandy, galet stone covered soils mainly on La Croze, usually from equal shares of Grenache blanc (richness), Roussanne (gras), Clairette (elegance), Bourboulenc (acidity), Picpoul (acidity), Picardin (elegance, since 2000), “Picpoul & Bourboulenc hyper important for the acidity in the wine” - Vincent Avril. Steel vat fermented at 12°-16°C, raised on lees 6 months, fined before Christmas, malo blocked.  2012: "shiny, fine yellow; white peach, appealing summer scents and flowers on the nose: an interesting bouquet, has genuine Rhône depth, gras and bounty that are well channelled. There is a very good transfer from the nose to the palate: the white fruits are fine, accompanied by licorice and aniseed. Tender wine which is a good whole, while its acidity and degree work together. Hazelnut is marked, while there is a nectarine skin taste also. There is round, appealing late content, a delightful final point of aniseed. The texture and aroma are lovely here. “The Picpoul and the Bourboulenc are hyper important in a year like this; the Grenache blanc risks too high a degree; maturity was very good this year,” Vincent Avril. “Drink it with turbot, salmon, lobster à la plancha.” Drink until 2015, then it will shut down, so revert from 2021. Less Grenache blanc this year (10%) after coulure and and 1% more of each of the other varieties. Drink until 2035" - drinkrhone

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $94.99

  • Organic
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Clos des Papes 2008 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

The extraordinary Clos des Papes CDP Blanc is from 3 hectares on clay-sandy, galet stone covered soils mainly on La Croze, of Grenache blanc (richness), Roussanne (gras), Clairette (elegance), Bourboulenc (acidity), Picpoul (acidity), Picardin (elegance). We were fortunate to taste the 2008 on Thursday, 5/25 - it was a great experience - truly a magnificent wine and drinking perfectly at 14 years of age. The color is a bright pale gold, showing exuberant, only slightly secondary aormas, with dried fruits, almond, citrus confit, eastern spices, stone, incense - quite fascinating. The palate is dense and very sapid, with firm acidity and very pronounced mineral flavors, white and yellow fruit confit, anise, apricot...somewhat indescribable, with a fabulous mineral finish and great length. "Be in no hurry – this is a prime example of an age-worthy white Châteauneuf. A long-term wine. Enjoy until 2030." says drinkrhone. Gorgeous wine! David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Organic

Clos des Papes 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

The extraordinary Clos des Papes CDP Blanc is from 3 hectares on clay-sandy, galet stone covered soils mainly on La Croze, of Grenache blanc (richness), Roussanne (gras), Clairette (elegance), Bourboulenc (acidity), Picpoul (acidity), Picardin (elegance). 2009: " quite a full yellow; hazelnut lead aroma with aniseed, also butter behind – a tight but potentially generous nose. Has a good dried fruits flavour, along with aniseed which means there is freshness. It is richly textured in the 2009 vein, and the fruit is accompanied by vanilla moments. A thorough run of sturdy flavour here, a wine that must be drunk with food, classic dishes. Its power will see it going until 2032 or so. “I would love a grilled lobster, lobster à la plancha with this,” Vincent Avril." - drinkrhone

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

  • Organic

Clos des Papes 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

The extraordinary Clos des Papes CDP Blanc is from 3 hectares on clay-sandy, galet stone covered soils mainly on La Croze, of Grenache blanc (richness), Roussanne (gras), Clairette (elegance), Bourboulenc (acidity), Picpoul (acidity), Picardin (elegance). 2015: "yellow robe. Peach-white plum lead the bouquet which is attractively round and engaging, curvy. There are outlierts of oiliness, infused tea, aniseed de Marseille. The palate commences on pear with peach, then gives a good gain in grip, tightness. There is grounding, crunch towards the finish, where it grips via its glycerol. It’s true sudiste/southern wine, real terroir in the glass. I wouldn’t go for this young, and would wait until around 2021-22: any earlier, and you are merely scratching the surface. Bottled first week of March 2016. “It is 30% Bourboulenc and Picpoul – they play a large role in hot years like 2015 and 2016,” Vincent Avril. - drinkrhone

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $94.99

  • Organic

Gripa 2011 Saint-Peray Les Figuiers

This little-known wine from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the most delicious and fascinating wines of the Northern Rhône. From 50 to 60 yeal-old vines in Saint-Peray, 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. "Fine yellow robe. Aniseed and hazelnut tally well together on the front nose; peach and acacia flowers are present, with a typical Saint-Péray tang of saltiness. The palate offers an intricate mix of fruit and more substantial, nutted flavours. It expands steadily on the later palate, has good length and gives a tickle of late acidity. It needs time to fuse – is not an obvious wine. Has something of a red wine in its make-up and late grounding."  Livingston-Learmonth in DrinkRhône  Tasted May 25, 2023 at CSW: The wine is showing beautifully, with secondary aromas joining the fresh white and yellow fruits. Perfect acidity, silky texture, very mineral and long. A great match for a full-bodied fish or poultry dish, just delicious. Drink over the next 3 - 5 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $43.99

  • Organic

Gripa 2014 Saint-Peray Les Figuiers

This little-known wine from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the most delicious and fascinating wines of the Northern Rhône. From 50 to 60 yeal-old vines in Saint-Peray, 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. 2014: "yellow robe. The nose is varied, has interest. It combines soft flower airs with a light aroma of peach, apricot juice, lemon grass, some oak. The palate is close-knit, not yet really revealed. It grips steadily on the finish. Decant this, It is fresh and capable of gaining depth. The length is serious, the aftertaste glows. Work in progress. 13.5° - drinkrhone  Tasted at CSW 5/25/23: Fresh, youthful citrus, haelnut, white and yellow fruits on the nose, the palate is brighter than the 2011 with a beautiful core of acidity and mineral flavors, young and vibrant, finishing with all minerals. Beautiful now and will drink well for another 8 to 10 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $43.99

  • Organic

Gripa 2020 Saint-Peray Les Figuiers (Arrives 6/2)

This little-known wine from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the most delicious and fascinating wines of the Northern Rhône. From 50 to 60 yeal-old vines in Saint-Peray, on granite soils, 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. "... yellow, flinty robe; the nose is poised, on quince, linden-tilleul herbal tea, spearmint, is gently floral, nice and together. This is pedigree St-Péray on the palate, comes with much finesse, good, neat spine, runs with tender filling, pleases on its suave and silken texture. It’s classy has balance and harmony. Drink until 2032-34." - drinkrhone   Tasted at CSW 5/25/23 Super elegant nose, complex and fresh with herbal, floral white fruits. The palate is dense with dried fruit, almond, citrus and tea, fabulous ripeness, balance and length with a silky texture. Beautiful wine, but very young, decant if drinking now, best to hold 10 years.

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99

Gripa 2020 Saint-Peray Les Pins

70-80% Marsanne, 20-30% Roussanne, av age 35 yrs from limestone & granite soils "shiny yellow robe; the nose is busy, shows peach, apricot, is gently open, has a pleasing roundness. The palate is calm, well styled, comes with a dried fruits flavour, discreet freshness, carries good detail. Airborne, graceful St-Péray here." drinkrhone   Tasted at CSW, the wine showed lovely peach, pear, citrus and floral aromas with saline minerals under the fresh white and yellow fruits on the palate, silky and round, with a hint of oak. Lovely wine to drink over the next 6 to 10 years, quite delicious!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $37.99

Gripa 2012 Saint-Joseph Rouge (arrives 6/2)

The Gripa 2012 Saint-Joseph is from fifteen to sixty-five year-old vines in the "Peygros" vineyard,  above "Saint-Joseph," shared by Gonon and Chapoutier, on granite with thin soils.  The grapes are de-stemmed and the wine ages in a mix of small and large casks, new to eight years of age. "medium red robe. Has a gamey air, reduction in it, beefiness, a small, slightly acid red fruits presence [fruits acidulés], a sharp shaft of raspberry, it goes ping; there are floral notes. The palate mixes up a steady stream of red fruits with crisp mineral touches all along; the mineral prevails on the finish. It’s in transition now. The fruit is appealing, the surrounds more secondary. It has the clarity of 2012. This has character. The aftertaste brings together an aromatic presence in with its iron. 13.5° Drink until 2028" - drinkrhone

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $44.99

Gripa 2015 Saint-Joseph Rouge

The Gripa 2015 Saint-Joseph is from fifteen to sixty-five year-old vines in the "Peygros" vineyard,  above "Saint-Joseph," shared by Gonon and Chapoutier, on granite with thin soils.  The grapes are de-stemmed and the wine ages in a mix of small and large casks, new to eight years of age. At 7 years of age the wine is still a bit young, but really showing well, just give it a few hours open. Ripe black cherry black raspberry/blueberryfruit, with a bit of earth and game. The palate opens up nicely, with firm acidity, earth and mineral flavors under dark berry fruits, licorice and meaty flavors. This is a very satisfying Saint-Joseph, nearing maturity, at a reasonable price. DL

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $39.99

  • Organic