2010 Clos Saint-Jean "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is apparently only available in the United States. A blend of 85% tank-aged Grenache and the rest Mourvedre and Syrah, this massive, sexy Chateauneuf offers tremendous notes of balsam wood, tobacco leaf, kirsch liqueur, bouquet garni and a beef blood-like component. Rich and full-bodied with sweet tannin, and huge fruit, glycerin and density, this wine will also benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, and keep for 20-25 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(virtually all grenache, from vines that were planted just after 1900, according to the Maurels; this bottling is designated for export exclusively to the U.S.): Deep ruby. Intense raspberry preserve and kirsch aromas are impressively pure and penetrating, with suave Asian spice and floral notes adding complexity and lift. A supple, sweet midweight that leads with plush red berry liqueur flavors and a building spiciness. Finishes sappy and long, with lingering notes of anise and candied lavender.
"Since 2003, when Pascal and Vincent Maurel took over this estate after their fatherís 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. In top vintages, Clos Saint-Jean produces five cuvees of red Chateauneuf du Pape, and the 2011s are successful across the board. There will not be a Sanctus Sanctorum in this vintage.16% abv.