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Clos Saint-Jean Deus-Ex Machina Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2020

ID No: 449130
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 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.

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:

As always, the 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) is a more powerful, mineral-laced wine, offering a fabulous nose of cassis, blackcurrants, ground pepper, Provençal herbs, and cured meats. This full-bodied, concentrated 2020 has incredible purity of fruit, silky yet building tannins, and a great finish. It should round into form with just short-term cellaring and have two decades of longevity.

-Jeb Dunnuck 95-97+

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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Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux 2020

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux is made from 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah.


Château de Saint Cosme is the leading estate of Gigondas and produces the benchmark wines of the appellation. The property has been in the hands of the Barruol family since 1490. Louis Barruol took over from his father in 1992 making a dramatic shift to quality and converting to biodynamics in 2010.

Château de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux is the estate’s oldest vineyard and sits near the entrance to the winery. “It was first planted in 1870 following phylloxera. My uncles thought it wasn’t producing enough fruit and planned to uproot it in 1914,” says Louis Barruol, but “World War I interrupted that plan.”

The 1.8-hectare Le Claux—meaning “Clos” in old French—is a field blend of predominately Grenache. Louis Barruol believes 10% of the vineyard is from the original 1870 planting. Vines are replaced by massal selection and the average vine age is 60-years. The wine is made with whole cluster fermentation from indigenous yeasts, is aged in 20% new 228-liter barrels, and bottled without fining or filtration.


Tasting Notes

The soil at Le Claux is a yellowish limestone marl and produces the most “Burgundian” wine at Saint Cosme. “It’s extremely refined and fresh with lots of bouquet. Its propensity to mature is excellent,” says Barruol. The wine features aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, violet, peat, Chinese Five Spice, and camphor.

Food Pairing

Grenache is the pale-colored, red-fruited, and potpourri-scented red grape variety of the southern Rhône and can be paired with both rustic and sophisticated dishes. Full-bodied Grenache-based wines are ideal with stews, braises, and grilled meats, while lighter versions can work well with dark fish and tomato-based dishes such as ratatouille.

Review:

The 2020 Gigondas Le Claux offers more cassis-like darker fruits intermixed with flowers, camphor, and graphite. It’s full-bodied, elegant, and seamless, yet shows plenty of tannins on the finish. It’s very much in the style of this pure, elegant vintage.
-Jeb Dunnuck  95-97 Points

 97 Points
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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:

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

 97 Points
Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2018

Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is made from 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Clairette, 25% Roussanne, 25% Bourboulenc

The color is a beautiful golden yellow with glints of green. The nose expresses the specificity of this wine, with aromas of white fruit (apple, pear), orange blossom, aniseed and lemon and woody undertones. The palate has much presence, is very fruity, with finesse, breadth and sweetness, but retaining a good balance of freshness.


This wine is ideal with fish, crayfish, pike 'quenelles' with with 'Nantua' sauce, or spicy dishes.

Review:

Ripe and enticing, with lots of white peach, green melon and yellow apple flavors laced with notes of shortbread and honeysuckle. A stony echo adds spine and length. Should unwind nicely. Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne. Best from 2021 through 2023. 1,666 cases made, 1,250 cases imported.

-Wine Spectator 92 Points

 Wine Spectator: 92
Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Choregies 2015

Ogier Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Choregies is made from 90% Grenache, 7% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre.


Located in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region in the Rhône Valley, Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes is named in honor of the small 18th century oratory (oratoire in French) that overlooks its original 49.5-acre vineyard plot. In 1880, Edouard Amouroux became the owner of this parcel, which was planted to Syrah, and contained the small oratory that had been dedicated to St. Mark. By the 1920’s the Amouroux family was already bottling their own Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine from this vineyard parcel naming their vineyard Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes. As a tribute to its rich history, the wine’s distinctive label design has remained unchanged since its original design in 1926.

The Estate has prided itself on respecting time-honored wine making traditions while at the same time, incorporating modern techniques to ensure the highest quality wine possible are made each year. In 2006, Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes converted to organic farming and uses a horse-drawn plow to till the vineyard’s soils. After the grapes are hand-harvested, they are transported to winery in small baskets only to undergo vigorous selection process with a double sorting table. Depending on the vintage, the grapes are then partially (or wholly) destemmed and can be co-fermented with different varieties in order to produce a complex and pedigreed wine.Today, the estate comprises a total of 100-acres showcasing the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region’s four great soil types: galets roulés (rounded stones over sandy clay), safres (sandy soils), éclats calcaires (limestone-based clays) and red-sandstone.

The iconic estate produces three distinctive wines – a red and white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and a limited release cuvée, “Les Choregies du Clos de L’Oratoire des Papes”, produced only in exceptional years.


The color is an intense dark cherry with delicate ruby flashes. The nose offers a selection of subtle notes (ripe red and vanilla fruit, followed by black pepper and fresh rosewood). The attack is full of fruit and spicy complexity bringing out the tannins and freshness. Fruit aromas complete the long finish.

Enjoy with caramelized spicy rabbit, duck, roasts or an autumn dish with mushrooms or truffles and game.


Review:

Rich but restrained aromas of blueberry and blackberry become riper and more preserved on the palate of this open-knit, rounded wine. Made from 80% Grenache augmented by Mourvèdre and Syrah, it offers glossy black fruit freshened by hits of crushed granite and violet. Tannins are ripe but penetrating. It should improve well through 2030. Anna Lee C. Iijima

-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 96
Clos Solene Hommage a nos Pairs Reserve 2018

Clos Solene Hommage a nos Pairs Reserve is made from Paso Robles 95% Syrah, 3% Grenache and 2% Viognier.

Name means "Tribute to my mentors" in French. This wine was created to pay a tribute to all the winemakers that influenced Guillaume on becoming the Winemaker that he is today.Very elegant on the front palate, the wine is superb.  Balanced and delicate with beautiful tannins, that will age for two decades.

Pairs with rack of lamb, fatty red meats such as Ribeye. Oriental dishes.


Review:

"Brilliant purple. A highly expressive bouquet evokes dark berry preserves, violet, incense and exotic spices, and a smoky mineral note emerges with air. Sweet, palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur, spicecake, vanilla and floral pastille flavors show outstanding depth as well as energy thanks to an undercurrent of juicy acidity. Smoothly plays power off finesse and finishes extremely long and precise, with resonating florality and fine-grained tannins emerging steadily. - Josh Raynolds" 

- Vinous (February 2020), 96 pts 


"Coming all from Paso Robles, the 2017 Hommage A Nos Pairs is a Syrah-dominated blend that includes 2% each of Grenache and Viognier. It’s a ripe, sexy, opulent effort that boasts a deep purple color, stunning black fruits, chocolate, spice box, and meaty aromas and flavors, a rounded, hedonistic palate profile, and no hard edges. It has a kiss of salty minerality on the finish and can be enjoyed today or cellared for 8-10 years."

- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 96 pts

This is an epic bottling, overloaded with lush layers of umami and expertly captured fruit. Aromas of baked black plum, currant, cappuccino, dark chocolate and black pepper play on the nose. Framed by firm yet forgiving tannins, the palate combines dry elderberry and prune flavors with charred lamb and beef, asphalt and cracked pepper. This is powerfully elegant, with 3% Viognier and 2% Grenache. 

- Wine Enthusiast (April 2021), 97 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 96 Wine Enthusiast: 97 96 Points
Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 2018 (Magnum)

Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, 2.5% Vaccarese, 2.5% Counoise.
Aged in 50% oak barrels.
Deep ruby red color, red fruits aromas leading to leather, black truffles and coffee notes. Fat and concentrated on the palate, with liquorice and dark fruit flavors.
Pairs well with game and red meats, cheeses.

60 year-old vines

Review:

"The flagship is the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Reine Des Bois and it’s 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties. Aged 20% in old barrels (this was raised in new barrels in the past) and the rest in stainless steel, it’s more backward and closed compared to the Voyageuse release and has ample blackcurrants, smoked earth, graphite, and peppery garrigue aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and textured on the palate, it has solid underlying structure yet still plays in the balanced, charming, elegant style of the vintage. It’s beautifully done and certainly up with the top wines. It should drink nicely for 10-15 years."

- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 95 pts


"Warm and inviting, with a richly layered core of steeped plum, blackberry and cherry fruit. Hints of alder and mesquite check in, along with twinges of chestnut and brick dust. Offers a nice mix of modern and old school. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Best from 2023 through 2036. —James MOLESWORTH"

- Wine Spectator (Insider, February 17th 2021), 94 pts


 Wine Spectator: 94 95 Points
Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 2020

Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and the rest equal parts Syrah and Vaccarèse .

This premium cuvee - whose name means "Queen of the Woods" - is from 65-year-old vines, planted on Villafranchian-era terrasses. Yield is 30 hl/ha.

Deep ruby red; opaque. Aromas of red fruits change to wooden touches of leather, black truffles and coffee. Fat, concentrated and full flavored with a very long liquoriced and fruity finish.


Review:

"What a beautifully ripe mulberry aroma this Chateauneuf has! An imposing but stunningly fine tannin structure neatly supports the richness and concentration on the full-bodied palate. Very long, creamy and dry finish with a pronounced licorice note that pulls you inexorably back for more. A complex blend based on grenache. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (August 2022), 95 pts



 95 Points
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