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2005 Clos Saint-Jean "Combe des Fous" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

SKU #1066645 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Up there with the '07, yet in a different style, the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Combe des Fous is a blockbuster that tops out on my scale. Exotic, perfumed and layered, with incredible kirsch, ground herbs, pepper and hints of olive tapenade-like aromas and flavors, this beauty is full-bodied and flawless on the palate, with ultra-fine tannin structure, building richness and a finish that just won't quit. Given its depth of fruit, it's a sheer joy to drink even today, yet will continue to knock it out of the park over the coming decade or more. (JD)  (8/2014)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Tasted from tank. Final blend. Wow! The 2005 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous is deep, rich and absolutely stunning with massive rich fruit, awesome balance, a beautiful full texture and a very long finish where it shows integrated, silky tannins.  (5/2007)

96 points Wine Spectator

 This is loaded with notes of fig cake, braised chestnut, boysenberry and raspberry ganache, and dark licorice, all held together by dense, ripe tannins. The powerful finish turns even darker, with espresso and baker's chocolate notes providing a pleasant tinge of bitterness on the frame. *Highly Recommended* (JM)  (4/2008)

91 points Vinous

 Deep red. Dark cherry, cassis, cola and graphite on the nose, with a deeper licorice quality building with air. Deep, rich and smoky, with chewy cherry and dark berry flavors firmed by dusty tannins. Becomes more peppery with air, showing its syrah side, as it did last year. This one will require patience. (JR) 91+  (1/2008)

K&L Notes

Robert Parker issued a 98+ score in the Wine Advocate October of 2007 saying, "One of the candidates for the wine of the vintage is the extraordinary 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous (same blend and elevage). Probably the best cuvee of this wine yet made, the wine has a saturated purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinary nose of blackberry, blueberry, black truffle, incense, lavender, and a hint of graphite. The wine is remarkably concentrated, spectacularly pure, full-bodied, with amazing length of well over a minute. This wine is a 'wow, wow' sort of wine, a profoundly great Chateauneuf du Pape. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025+."

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Price: $219.99
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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.
Specific Appellation:

Chateauneuf du Pape