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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2020

ID No: 449754
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2020
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous 2020

Clos Saint-Jean is a 41-hectare estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape run by brothers Vincent and Pascal Maurel. Considered by many critics and wine-writers as the preeminent estate espousing the modern style of winemaking in Châteauneuf, this cellar is one of the oldest in the region, having been founded in 1900 by the greatgreat-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal, Edmund Tacussel. A short time after its founding and well before the AOP of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was created in 1923, Edmund began bottling estate wines in 1910.

The farming at Clos Saint-Jean is fully sustainable due to the warm and dry climate, which prevents the need for chemical inputs. Instead, Vincent and Pascal employ organic methods for pest control, mainly pheromones, to prevent pests from taking up residence in their vines, a process called amusingly enough in French, confusion sexuelle. The vines tended manually, and harvest is conducted in several passes entirely by hand.

Combe des Fous literally means, the hill of the fool. The hill, in this case, is located in the far southern reach of Le Crau which was left barren for many centuries because the layer of galets was so exceedingly deep that everyone assumed vines could never survive there. The fool in this situation is Edmund Tacussel, the great-great-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal Maruel who planted a Grenache vineyard on this site in 1905. That old-vine Grenache form the heart of this cuvée with a small amount of Syrah, Cinsault and Vaccarèse. La Combe des Fous is only made in the best vintages.


Review:

Pumps out heady raspberry, mulberry and blackberry compote notes that keep form and direction, thanks to a roasted apple wood spine and flanking ganache, garrigue and warm earth notes. Seriously grippy finish. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Vaccarèse.

-Wine Spectator 96 Points


The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous is a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarèse and Cinsault. Beautiful, full-bodied aromas and flavors of ripe black raspberries, violets, ground pepper, lavender, and herbes de Provence all emerge from this gorgeous barrel sample, and it shows the pure, fresh, yet still concentrated style of the vintage brilliantly.

-Jeb Dunnuck 94-97 Points

 Wine Spectator: 96 97 Points
Clos Saint-Jean Deus-Ex Machina Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2020


Clos Saint-Jean is a 41-hectare estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape run by brothers Vincent and Pascal Maurel. Considered by many critics and wine-writers as the preeminent estate espousing the modern style of winemaking in Châteauneuf, this cellar is one of the oldest in the region, having been founded in 1900 by the greatgreat-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal, Edmund Tacussel. A short time after its founding and well before the AOP of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was created in 1923, Edmund began bottling estate wines in 1910.

The farming at Clos Saint-Jean is fully sustainable due to the warm and dry climate, which prevents the need for chemical inputs. Instead, Vincent and Pascal employ organic methods for pest control, mainly pheromones, to prevent pests from taking up residence in their vines, a process called amusingly enough in French, confusion sexuelle. The vines tended manually, and harvest is conducted in several passes entirely by hand.

Deus ex Machina is a literary and dramatic term for a miraculous intervention that interrupts a logical course of events in a plot or play. A suitable name for a cuvée that had it’s start in the torrid vintage of 2003 when Philippe Cambie and Vincent Maurel made the decision to harvest at the end of September, weeks after their neighbors. Deus ex Machina is a blend of old vine Grenache from La Crau, aged in tank with equally ancient Mourvedre from the sandy soils of BoisDauphin aged in demi-muid. Deus ex Machina is only made in the best vintages.

Review:

Machina reminds me slightly of the 2011 with its spicy, perfumed, complex bouquet of red and black fruits, dried flowers, pepper, and Provençal herbs, with more gamey, meaty notes emerging with time in the glass. Full-bodied on the palate, it's balanced, has ultra-fine yet building tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish.

-Jeb Dunnuc 97 Points


Boasts bitter plum, raspberry and black cherry reduction notes that have a lively savory, garrigue streak, while grippy-edged tar, tobacco and ganache notes pepper the finish. Muscular and dense but the cut is there, and the fruit core takes a late encore for good measure. Grenache and Mourvèdre.

-Wine Spectator 97 Points

 Wine Spectator: 97 97 Points
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes 2019

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from a Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from old vines located in and around Le Crau. The Grenache is aged in concrete for 12 months while the remainder is aged in demi-muid.


Review:

A bigger, richer wine, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes has a similar style in its peppery garrigue, lavender, scorched earth, and licorice aromatics. It’s slightly darker fruited than the base cuvée and has a rock star of a mid-palate, building, sweet tannins, and a great finish. It’s one stunning bottle of wine to drink over the coming 10-15 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points 

 

Rich and seductive in style, featuring waves of warmed plum sauce and blackberry purée flavors laced with singed alder, licorice root and tobacco notes, with flashes of ganache and warm earth in the background. Everything stays well-defined through the finish, which offers a late echo of minerality. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin.

- Wine Spectator 95 Points

 

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes 2021

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from a Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from old vines located in and around Le Crau. The Grenache is aged in concrete for 12 months while the remainder is aged in demi-muid.


Review:


A smaller selection from older vines from La Crau, the 2021 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a clear step up. Both red and black fruits, spring flowers, black licorice, and rocky, mineral notes merge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a layered, silky mouthfeel and beautiful tannins.

-Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 Points

 94 Points
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2021

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is made from 80% Roussanne, 10% Grenache Blanc and Clairette, 10% Piquepoul Blanc, Picardan and Bourboulenc

The story :
The production of white wine at Beaucastel is limited as we only have 7 hectares of white vines planted. The main variety is Roussanne, representing 80% of the blend.


The vintage :
The 2020 vintage in Southern Rhône was favoured by very good weather conditions, it is a generous vintage, both in terms of quality and quantity. Not as hot as in 2019, this year was very windy, throughout the growing cycle, with light rainfalls. After a fairly mild winter (one single episode of frost was noted during the night of March 24, but only the early ripening plots were very slightly affected). The spring was radiant, quite warm and very windy, which allowed the soils to preserve their freshness. Flowering began on May 18, under very healthy conditions. The good weather continued in June, July and August, with plenty heat but lower temperatures than in 2019, cool and humid nights and wind which continued to blow, preserving the freshness of the vines and maintaining perfect sanitary conditions for the grapes. The harvest, which was fairly early, therefore began under these very good conditions on August 26 with the white Côtes-du-Rhône and continued until the end of September with the Mourvèdre. September was warm at the beginning of the month and then more temperate, offering idyllic harvest conditions and allowed each plot to be harvested at perfect maturity. The harvest was very healthy with beautiful juicy and very ripe grapes, reasonable alcohol levels, good acidity and already a great balance. Yields are slightly higher than 2019 and the first tastings predict a very nice vintage.


Location :
Château de Beaucastel has 7 hectares of white varieties.


Terroir :
Molasse seabed of the Miocene period covered by diluvial alpine deposits (rolled pebbles).


Ageing :
Handpicked in small cases, sorting of the grapes, pneumatic pressing, settling of the juice, fermentation (30% in oak barrels, 70% in tanks) for 8 months. Bottling after 8 months.


 

Review:

Honeycomb oak on the nose, then quite a broad and generous palate. Sappy acidity, although not as high as some white Châteauneufs this year, and a long finish. This has a good sense of lightness, drinkability and balance. The oak is quite forthright for now, so give this some time to come together. 80% Roussanne, 10% Grenache and Clairette, plus 10% of Piquepoul Blanc, Picardan and Bourboulenc. Part of the blend was matured in two- and three-year-old barriques for a year.

-Decanter 96 Points


 96 Points
Boussey Monthelie Blanc Premier Cru Sur La Velle 2020

Boussey Monthelie Blanc Premier Cru Sur La Velle is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

The name Monthelie comes from Mont Lyoei, mountain of Bacchus. The "Sur la Velle" plot is located on the eastern edge of Monthélie. It borders the Volnay Clos des Chênes Premier Cru to the east. The vineyards here lie on broadly southeast facing slopes with just enough gradient to achieve good drainage.

The Monthelie Blanc Premier Cru Sur La Velle has a beautiful pale yellow color with green reflections.

It is complex and rich with delicious aromas of white flowers, fresh almonds, lemon and minerality.
The finish is long with a very good balance between the excellent ripeness and the perfect amount of acidity. 

We recommend this wine with white meat, fish and seafood.


Product Description

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is made from Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne.

In a 41 hectare estate, there is only 1 hectare of white varieties: Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne in roughly equal proportions. The Grenache and Clairette is pressed directly into tank upon reaching the cellar where it is fermented and aged on its lees. The Roussanne is harvested in several passes and pressed into French oak for fermentation and aging. The final wine is blended and bottled in the spring after the harvest.


Review:

One of the appellation’s top whites comes from Clos Saint Jean (although it’s their reds that get all the attention), the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc is brilliant, with a fresh, vibrant, focused style to go with classic crushed citrus, tart quince, and acacia flower-like notes. It builds on the palate and is medium-bodied, with richness and depth. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points

Winery: Clos Saint Jean

“This may well be one of the most exciting addresses not only in France, but in the entire wine world.... In short, these wines are not to be missed!”

– ROBERT PARKER

Once harvested, the grapes are transported to the cellar in small bins. The white varieties are pressed directly with Grenache Blanc and Clairette being fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks while the Roussanne is fermented and aged in barrel. The reds are almost entirely destemmed with about 10% whole clusters retained. Fermentation follows in concrete vats. Macerations are long, averaging 35 days on the skins. The Grenache sees a gentle maceration with delestage, while the Syrah and Mouvredre receive pigeage. All of the Grenache is aged in concrete with the exception of Sanctus Sanctorum, a single plot of old-vine Grenache, that in exceptional vintages, is aged in demi-muid and bottled only in magnum. Syrah and Mourvedre are aged in barriques and demi-muids. Aging for all the reds is about 12 months. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes in bottled especially for European Cellars and is selected by the brothers with input from Philippe Cambie and Eric Solomon. In addition to the Sanctus Sanctorum, two additional small cuvées are made: La Combe des Fous and Deus ex Machina – each sourced primarily from Le Crau, the power and finesse of which is apparent in both wines. The Deus ex Machina is deepened with the inclusion of the old vine Mourvedre that the Maurels farm on the sandy soils of Bois–Dauphin.

Clos Saint Jean is a 41 hectare estate in Châteauneuf-duPape run by brothers Vincent and Pascal Maurel. Considered by many critics and wine-writers as the preeminent estate espousing the modern style of winemaking in Châteauneuf, this cellar is one of the oldest in the region having been founded in 1900 by the great-great-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal, Edmund Tacussel. A short time after its founding and well before the AOP of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was created in 1923, Edmund began bottling estate wines in 1910. The various vineyards of Clos Saint Jean are located primarily in the region of Le Crau. This plateau is perhaps the most iconic of the many terroirs of Châteauneuf-duPape – iron-rich red clays topped with galets. While about 60% of their vineyards are located here, specifically in the lieu-dits of Côteau de Saint Jean and Cabane de Saint-Jean, another 40% are located in alluvial clay and sandy soils adjacent to the plateau. They also own a small parcel of Mourvedre in the lieu-dit of Bois-Dauphin near Château Rayas planted on sandy, limestone-rich soils. The farming at Clos Saint Jean is fully sustainable due to the warm and dry climate which obviates the need for chemical inputs. Vincent and Pascal employ organic methods for pest control, mainly pheromones to prevent pests from taking up residence in their vines a process called amusingly enough in French, confusion sexuelle. The vines are also worked manually and harvest is conducted in several passes entirely by hand.

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Elvio Cogno Baroloa Ravera is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo. 

2017 is to be considered a very good vintage. Despite being characterized by hot and dry summer months, water reserves in the soil and September rain saved the vines from being stressed by water shortage. These factors, together with the excellent exposure of our plots and the scrupulous practices adopted in the vineyard during the growing season, allowed the grapes to fully ripen, avoiding to anticipate the harvest date too much. The 2017 wines are incredibly pleasant to drink: they are rich in crunchy red fruit, with an energetic mouthfeel, dominated by freshness and elegant tannins.

Goes well with braised meats, stewed game, roasts, and mature cheeses such as pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Brilliant garnet-red in color with orange highlights. Firm, elegant and potent on the nose, it has scents of dog-rose, mint and tobacco, scents that meld over the course of time into spice, coffee, licorice, truffle, leather and minerals. A full-bodied, rounded bouquet of great structure and balance, redolent of plum jam and withered brambles. The persistent chocolatey aftertaste is harmonious and enticing. Over the years, it gradually refines its characteristics to achieve classic elegance and composure.

Review:

Made by the estate that put this celebrated cru on the map, and showing an enviable combination of elegance and power, this stunning wine opens with aromas of wild berries, underbrush, dark spice and balsamic notes of cedar and new leather. The tense, savory palate is loaded with youthful energy, showing succulent Marasca cherry, raspberry, cinnamon and star anise framed in tightly knit, refined tannins and surprisingly bright acidity for the vintage. A mineral note suggesting iron adds depth to the close.

-Wine Enthusiast 98 Point

 Wine Enthusiast: 98
Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault Les Clous 2020

Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault Les Clous is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.


Intense bouquet of fruit and flowers combined with a delicate mineral hint. Rich and subtle wine with good crisp, which makes it very balanced. Good ageing potential.

Pair with fish dishes in sauce.

Review:

This elegant Meursault reminds me very much of the best wines from this appellation from the 1970s and 80s. Only medium-bodied, with delicate pear, apple and lemon aromas. Long, silky and filigree finish. What’s the secret to its 1er Cru quality? Apart from very good winemaking, it’s a high altitude site that has benefited from climate change. Drink or hold.  

-James Suckling 94 Points

 94 Points
Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2019

Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is made from Clairette blanche & Rose, Grenache Blanc & Gris, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Picpoul and Picardan.

Gold bright green color. Expressive nose with pear and stone fruits aromas (peach, apricot) with jasmine and roasted almonds notes. The mouth is smooth and fleshy like stone fruit we can smell, with a long a nice finish.


Review:

Bright golden yellow, silver reflections. Delicate herbal spices, a hint of chamomile and mandarin zest, pears and blossom honey are underneath. Juicy, elegant, white peach, delicate honeydew melon, mineral and harmonious, fine fruit sweetness, good ripening potential.

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 Wine Spectator: 91 92 Points
Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2021

The nose is a basket of fruits with yellow and white flesh, where peach and exotic fruits dominate. A few notes of vanilla and brioche add a touch of extra fat. The richness of its mouth unfolds in a long sarabande of persistent aromas.

This blend is an ideal companion to a serving of Fillet of St. Pierre fish cooked on the skin.

Review:

Moving to the whites, the 2021 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is close to an even split of Clairette, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. It has a layered, medium to full-bodied style offering classic aromatics of white peach, acacia flowers, and honeyed minerality. Fresh, pure, and vibrant, it brings plenty of richness and depth. Drink it over the coming 3-5 years or. It will keep longer, if you're so inclined. Best after 2022.

-Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points

 93 Points
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf Du Pape Blanc La Fontaine 2021

Grand Veneur Chateauneuf Du Pape Blanc La Fontaine is made from 100% Roussane.

Yellow-gold color. The nose is rich in aromas of citrus fruit, tropical fruit, quince and honey, with a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the same aromas appear together with a fatness combining exotic fruit and vanilla : the wine is rich, generous and elegant, with extraordinary length. "La Fontaine" is often considered to be one of the best Châteauneuf du Pape white, and it is by definition a superb gastronomy wine.

Best between 1 and 8 years.

Review:


"The 2021 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Fontaine Blanc is a much more concentrated, serious wine, and it takes plenty of air to show at its best today. Based on Roussanne, it has a medium gold hue as well as rich aromatics of honeyed stone fruits, orange blossom, caramelized peach, and toasted bread. Beautiful on the palate as well, it’s medium-bodied, has a layered, concentrated mouthfeel, good acidity, and a great finish. Give it a year or three in the cellar and enjoy over the following decade."

- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2022), 94 pts





 94 Points
Antica Vigna Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva 2015

Antica Vigna Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva is made from 65% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot.

Amarone DOCG has maintained unchanged its typicality, so that “the essence of the territory” of Valle di Mezzane and Cazzano di Tramigna powerfully emerges. Rich in color, firmly structured but with fresh notes. 

WINEMAKING AND AGING:

Manual harvest early October with selection of the best bunches.
Drying: natural drying in fruit cellar for 3/4 months with a sharp drop in weight of around 30%.
Vinification: soft crushing of destemmed grapes in the months of January and February.
Fermentation: at a controlled temperature of 18/21°C. Fermentation time: about 30 days
Aging:· 80% in oak barrels for 30 months of which 2/3 in American and French barriques, half of which are used for the second and third time, 1/3 in large


THE TERRITORY:
Geographical location: Tenuta di Mezzane, Tenuta di Cazzano di Tramigna
Height: 350/400 meters asl
Exposure: south
Soil type: limestone
Vineyard training system: guyot and pergola
Vine planting year: from 1972 to 2009
Vine density: 4,000 to 5,400 vines per hectare Vineyard management: sustainable agriculture and great attention to natural
cycles

Pairs well with grilled and roasted meats, as well as cheese.

Timeless Notes:

Dark cherry in color, firm on the palate with a vibrant acidity underbelly.  Thought lush on the palate the flavors are complex and elegant from entry to mid-palate with hints of currant and wild berries. The finish brings in a touch of tobacco and leather notes ,classic examples of this region, with more ripe fruit flavors that linger on long strain tannin finish.   Complex with depth and elegance on the palate.  This one is drinking now, but can handle more time in the cellar with ease. An excellent value in the Riserva category.






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