Clos Saint-Jean La Combe des Fous Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Up there with the '07, yet in a different style, the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Combe des Fous is a blockbuster that tops out on my scale. Exotic, perfumed and layered, with incredible kirsch, ground herbs, pepper and hints of olive tapenade-like aromas and flavors, this beauty is full-bodied and flawless on the palate, with ultra-fine tannin structure, building richness and a finish that just won't quit. Given its depth of fruit, it's a sheer joy to drink even today, yet will continue to knock it out of the park over the coming decade or more.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This is loaded with notes of fig cake, braised chestnut, boysenberry and raspberry ganache, and dark licorice, all held together by dense, ripe tannins. The powerful finish turns even darker, with espresso and baker's chocolate notes providing a pleasant tinge of bitterness on the frame. Best from 2011 through 2030. 290 cases made.
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Clos Saint-Jean

Clos Saint-Jean

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Clos Saint-Jean, France
Clos Saint-Jean Winery Image
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 rank among the greatest single tasting in the southern Rhone I have ever done in 30+ years of wine tasting. Last year I sensed something special was happening, and the bottled (2007) wines confirm that something rare had occurred in the vineyards and cellars of Clos Saint-Jean.” The estate now boasts four 100 point wines, sourced from their extraordinary old vine plots, including choice parcels in the famed La Crau district of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The raw material for this wine is what is deemed at many domaines suitable for their top end cuvees, yet at Clos Saint-Jean this is their classic bottling. This cuvee “Vieilles Vignes” is produced from the oldest vines of the
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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Rhone, France

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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SEC524890_2005 Item# 524890

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