2011 Clos Saint-Jean "Deus Ex Machina" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
More backward and reserved, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Deux-Ex Machina is a blend of 60% tank-aged Grenache and 40% Mourvedre that was aged in 600-liter demi-muids. Spectacular, not only in this vintage, but in any vintage, it offers up incredible notes of blackberry, fig, tree bark, mineral, spice-cake and pepper that flow to a full-bodied, seamless and perfectly proportioned palate. It possesses upward of two decades of longevity, and the only wine in the vintage to come anywhere close to this level of quality, also from the same producer, is the Combe des Fous. Hats off to the Clos Saint-Jean team for this amazing achievement. Drink 2015-2031. Always one of the highlight visits during my time spent working in the Southern Rhone, Clos Saint-Jean, which includes over 100 acres of prime terroir in Chateauneuf du Pape (mostly in the south), is run by brothers Pascal and Vincent Maurel, with consulting help from the incredibly talented Philippe Cambie. Releasing 5 Chateauneufs in top vintages, they also pair up with Manfred Krankl, of Sine Qua Non in California’s Santa Barbara County, and release another high-end cuvee call Chimere. While the winemaking here is often labeled as modern, it is actually relatively traditional, with the Grenache almost always aged in tank and only the Mourvedre and Syrah seeing time in larger, 500-600 liter oak barrels, or demi-muids. In addition, the cuvees may also include small amounts of whole-cluster fermentation. Regardless of how you c
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby. Explosive aromas of raspberry, cherry-cola, potpourri and anise. Vibrant and precise on entry, then broad and fleshy in the mid-palate, showing a creamy, liqueur-like quality to its red berry and floral pastille flavors. Juicy, intense and expansive, with impressive depth, focus and finishing power. I was looking for tannins and couldn't find them underneath this wine's flamboyant fruit.
The most tannic style. 60% 100-year-old Grenache from red clay. 40% Mourvèdre. Very different nose from the others -- still quite oak touched. Firm, savoury nose and then masses of round fruit on the palate. Chock full of spice and tannin -- and quite tight on the end. Very firm! 17/20 points.