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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous 2020

ID No: 449215
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 Wine Spectator: 96 97 Points
Country:France
Regions:Rhone
Chateauneuf du Pape
Winery:Clos Saint Jean
Grape Type:Grenache
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2020
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

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

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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Review:


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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.

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Review:


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Review:


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Review:


"The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Reine Des Bois is a bigger, richer, more structured wine, which is normal. A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, and the rest equal parts Syrah and Vaccarese, its deeper ruby/purple hue is followed by a brilliant perfume of blackberries, black raspberries, ground pepper, violets, and new saddle leather. Medium to full-bodied and concentrated, with building tannins and great overall balance, it's another wine that shows the style of the vintage brilliantly. It has plenty of up-front charm, but this beauty will evolve nicely for 15-20 years."

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Review:

"A very vivid and bright nose with lots of red fruit and flowers. Some sweet currants, raspberries and pomegranate in the forefront followed by a nice touch of bay leaf, graphite and flowers. Juicy and bright on the palate with a medium body and firm and fresh tannins. Very drinkable. 45% grenache, 35% syrah, 15% mourvedre and 5% roussanne. Co-fermented. Enjoy now."

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 92 Points
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