Clos Saint-Jean Sanctus Sanctorum (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2019
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 AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum is going to be one of the wines of the vintage. All Grenache sourced from a single parcel in the La Crau lieu-dit and raised all in demi-muids, it sports a more ruby/purple hue that’s not completely opaque and has an incredible bouquet of kirsch liqueur, ripe blackcurrants, scorched earth. graphite, ground pepper, and assorted cured meats. With an incredibly singular character, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and carries incredible power and richness, yet it nevertheless still glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness, ultra-fine tannins, and a remarkable sense of purity and elegance. This is another magical Grenache from this team. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and knock your socks off over the following 20 years or more.
The 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum—a 100% Grenache cuvée (from vines planted in 1905) matured in new demi-muids—looks to have the concentrated fruit to handle the oak better than the 2018. Dark and intense, it delivers waves of purple berries and black cherries, barely touched by vanilla and cedar. It's full-bodied and rich, and although the wood tannins do leave an impression, it's a gentle one relative to the wine's overall profile. While it may not quite equal the near-perfect 2016, it's close.
Barrel Sample: 96-98
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, Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. 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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.