Clos Saint-Jean Vieilles Vignes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2018
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and
Muscardin, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from oldvines located in and around Le Crau. The Grenache is aged in concrete for
12 months while the remainder is aged in demi-muid.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes showed beautifully, with plenty of classic Clos Saint Jean meaty black fruits, dried spices, garrigue, kirsch liqueur, and smoky earth-like aromas and flavors. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied, seamless Grenache that offers beautiful tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s already drinking great today yet will easily evolve for 10-12 years.
The 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes shows the same exotic stone fruit notes as the regular bottling but seems just that little bit creamier-silkier in feel. Full-bodied and plush, it still has the requisite acidity for balance, finishing on vibrant notes of black cherries dipped in dark chocolate laced with orange zest.
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.