2010 Clos Saint-Jean "Deus Ex Machina" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A perfect wine (and equal to the profound 2007), the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Deus-Ex Machina was cropped at under 20 hectoliters per hectare. Extremely full-bodied and dense purple-colored, it exhibits notes of blueberries, blackberries, licorice, incense, camphor, vanillin and chocolate-covered espresso beans (no doubt from the new demi-muids in which the Mourvedre component was aged). The tannins are noticeable, but relatively silky. The most muscular and formidable 2010 in this portfolio, its expansiveness, mind-boggling richness and intensity, and 60-second finish are the stuff of legends. Forget this remarkable Chateauneuf du Pape for five years and drink it over the following thirty years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(60% grenache and 40% mourvedre): Vivid purple. Powerful, intensely perfumed aromas of black and blue fruits, potpourri and smoky Indian spices, with a bright mineral nuance adding vivacity. Offers an array of sappy dark fruit and floral flavors and suggestions of allspice, star anise and candied licorice. Finishes on a sweet note of candied lavender, with outstanding energy and focus.
This is loaded with bittersweet ganache, espresso, roasted fig, blackberry confiture and graphite notes, all of which manage to fall in stride together. Offers lots of briary grip, with a Black Forest cake note driving through the finish. Dark and dense, but with terrific cut. Best from 2015 through 2030. (Web Only- 2012)
NB vintage. ‘You need to put this in the oubliette of a château for at least 10 years’. Almost as dense and black as port. Very sumptuous nose and palate entry but then the bitterness creeps up on you and you realise there’s a whole trunk full of tannins underneath all this fruit! But they are pretty well hidden.
"Since 2003, when Pascal and Vincent Maurel took over this estate after their father's passing, Clos Saint-Jean has gone from strength to strength," writes Robert Parker. "They have always owned great vineyards, and they had the foresight to hire a brilliant consulting oenologist, Philippe Cambie. The result has been instant stardom, and a succession of world-class wines. Recently they also partnered with the California Central Coast's renowned Manfred Krankl of Sine Qua Non to produce another luxury cuvee of Chateauneuf du Pape from mostly Mourvedre called Chimere. A large estate for Chateauneuf du Pape (over 110 acres), Clos Saint-Jean's history dates back to 1900, with the first Maurel taking control in 1930. The majority of their holdings are in the southeastern sector of the appellation, including significant parcels in La Crau, Les Combes and St.-Jean." (10/2012)