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Clos Saint-Jean Sanctus Sanctorum (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016

  • JD100
  • RP99
1500ML / 0% ABV
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1500ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sanctus Sanctorum is only made in the best vintages and is comprised of

the oldest vines of Grenache (well over 100 years old) in Le Crau. It is aged

entirely in demi-muid and bottled in magnum.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 100
One of the greatest young wines I’ve ever tasted is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum which is 100% old vine Grenache sourced from a single parcel in the La Crau lieu-dit. Lighter in color than both the Combes des Fous and Ex Machina, it offers a heavenly perfume of kirsch liqueur, crushed rocks, exotic spices, and graphite. This beauty hits the palate with an incredible display of opulent, decent fruit paired with an elegance and seamlessness that needs to be tasted to be believed. With building richness, no weight, ultra-fine tannins, and a finish that won’t quit, it’s released only in magnum, so it will take upward of a decade to hit maturity and will keep for 20+ years. Hats off to the Maurel family and their consultant Philippe Cambie!
RP 99
Bottled only in magnum, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum, made entirely from Grenache planted in 1905, was aged in new demi-muids, yet it has completely absorbed any trace of barrel. Incredibly intense and dramatic, it combines savory notes of licorice and dark roses with black cherries and dried spices. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, with a mind-bendingly long finish, it's a tour de force that may prove to be perfection for some readers.
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Clos Saint-Jean

Clos Saint-Jean

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Clos Saint-Jean, France
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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

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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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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

STC904731_2016 Item# 509546