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The limited production cuvee of 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous (60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Muscardin, Vaccarese and Cinsault) is awesome. There have been many great vintages of this wine (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011), but the 2010 flirts with perfection. One of the most complex aromatic expressions of Chateauneuf du Pape, it offers up notes of Christmas fruitcake, spring flowers, mulberries, blueberries, black raspberries, espresso beans and spice box. Full-bodied, opulent and voluptuously textured, its luxurious, lavish fruit conceals amazing levels of glycerin and alcohol. This wine possesses prodigious intensity, massive layers of fruit and an incredible 45-50-second finish. Forget it for 4-5 years, and drink it over the following 20-25 years.
This is very densely packed, with toasted fig bread, charcoal, roasted espresso bean, steeped black currant and blackberry fruit, followed by a flash of pastis on the finish. Very dark and rich, but has grip and length for balance, revealing a terrific, but deeply imbedded, graphite spine in reserve.
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