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The classic bottling at the prestigious Clos Saint Jean is their "Vieilles Vignes" Chateauneuf du Pape. This cuvee "Vieilles Vignes", from 75% Grenache,
15% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre, Cinsault,
Vaccareze and Muscardin is produced from the oldest vines of the estate and is made only for the US market.
"The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes reveals supple tannins, a velvety texture, good opulence and low acidity. The wine is full-bodied, less intense in the mid-palate than the 2010, and already complex and evolved. It can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15+ years.
If a prize were given to the Rhone Valley estate that had improved the most in the shortest period of time, it would undoubtedly go to that of Pascal and Vincent Maurel, who took over Clos Saint-Jean after their father passed away in 2002. Since then, they have made a succession of world-class wines that are out of this world. One of the largest estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, Clos Saint-Jean has an amazing number of old vine parcels in its 112+ acres (significant holdings in La Crau, in the eastern part of the appellation). No doubt the hiring of renowned oenologist Philippe Cambie has also increased the quality of these offerings. The 2010 Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf du Papes are phenomenal wines. The Maurel brothers believe they are as profound as the 2007s, and it is hard to disagree. Production is down considerably because of the loss of 25-30% of the Grenache crop due to poor flowering, but the levels of concentration, freshness and focus of these wines are remarkable. Moreover, the 2009s from bottle performed at the upper end of the ranges I had given them last year – always a sign of a terrific winery dedicated to high quality.
The Wine Advocate
"Bright ruby. Ripe blackberry and cherry on the nose, with dark chocolate and licorice adding complexity. Deep, spice-accented cherry liqueur and bitter chocolate flavors are enlivened by a note of singed orange. Becomes brighter with air and finishes with excellent clarity, thrust and bite."
International Wine Cellar
"Features perfumy aromatics, but still a bit tight, with an iron-bound core of cassis, raspberry and blackberry fruit, backed by graphite and black tea notes on the racy finish. Should unwind with modest cellaring. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Vaccarèse. Best from 2012 through 2021. 1,011 cases made"
The prestigious Clos Saint Jean is run by the fourth generation of the
Tacussel/Maurel family - Vincent and Pascal Maurel - under the tutelage
of renowned oenologist Philippe Cambie. Clos Saint-Jean is considered
by critics, sommeliers, and consumers alike to be among the top
properties of the Southern Rhone. Robert Parker comments, The tasting
of the five (2007) cuvees must...Read More About Clos Saint-Jean
(shah-too-NUHF due Pahp) Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s - it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the new papal home, referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome. Notable Facts...Read More About Chateauneuf-du-Pape
The Rhone region of France has a delightful selection of red varieties. There are 22 grapes allowed in the Rhone AOC, about half of them red. Most of these varieties are used as secondary blending partners, often comprising less than 10% of the blend. The primary red players of Rhone blends are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Most wines from the Southern Rhone use Grenache as their...Read More About Rhone Red Blends
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