2010 Clos Saint-Jean "Combe des Fous" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The limited production cuvee of 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous (60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Muscardin, Vaccarese and Cinsault) is awesome. There have been many great vintages of this wine (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011), but the 2010 flirts with perfection. One of the most complex aromatic expressions of Chateauneuf du Pape, it offers up notes of Christmas fruitcake, spring flowers, mulberries, blueberries, black raspberries, espresso beans and spice box. Full-bodied, opulent and voluptuously textured, its luxurious, lavish fruit conceals amazing levels of glycerin and alcohol. This wine possesses prodigious intensity, massive layers of fruit and an incredible 45-50-second finish. Forget it for 4-5 years, and drink it over the following 20-25 years. 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. 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... 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
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
made from 60% grenache and 20% syrah, with cinsault, vaccarese and muscardin): Inky ruby. Heady, spice-accented aromas of dark berry preserves, potpourri and smoky minerals. Stains the palate with intense black raspberry and lavender pastille flavors and becomes spicier with air. Powerful yet lithe and seamless, with superb finishing clarity and lingering floral notes. Tannins make a late appearance but are quickly absorbed by this wine's luscious fruit.
This is very densely packed, with toasted fig bread, charcoal, roasted espresso bean, steeped black currant and blackberry fruit, followed by a flash of pastis on the finish. Very dark and rich, but has grip and length for balance, revealing a terrific, but deeply imbedded, graphite spine in reserve. Best from 2015 through 2030.