One of the gems of the vintage is the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus Ex Machina which is as always, a 60/40 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre. It offers sensational notes of blackberries, ground herbs, white chocolate and an undeniable meatiness (It reminds me of a butcher shop from the south of France) that develops with time in the glass. Full-bodied, perfumed, complex, elegant and layered, it doesn’t have the density of the 2015, 2010 or 2007, yet is seamless. Give bottles 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 15+. I’ve written so many glowing reviews on the wines of Clos Saint Jean I sometimes feel like a broken record. Nevertheless, this estate continues to go from strength to strength and has yet to make a misstep since I’ve been reviewing the wines. (JD)
Deeper, more masculine, graphite-laced and structured, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Deux Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) always shows a huge, meaty, roasted herb, kirsch and darker fruit profile. Like the other 2015s here, it shines for its purity, but this is a big, mouth-filling and unctuous beauty that’s both a hedonistic and intellectual turn on. The two Maurel brothers, along with the ever-present Philippe Cambie, have brought this large estate up to the pinnacle of the Châteauneuf du Pape hierarchy, and they’ve produced so many monumental bottles over the past decade or so it’s not even funny. (JD)
Saturated ruby. A highly perfumed, complex bouquet displays dark berry compote, cherry pit and Indian spice aromas, along with notes of anise and dried lavender. Seamless and spicy on the palate, offering deeply concentrated, sweet blackberry and floral pastille flavors underscored by a spine of smoky minerality. Velvety tannins build slowly on the penetrating finish, which shows superb clarity and power and leaves behind sappy dark berry and allspice notes. (JR)
Rich but very fresh, with lovely tea and incense notes lifting the core of raspberry, plum and red currant preserve flavors. Light shiso leaf, sanguine and tobacco details on the finish add cut and length. Best from 2020 through 2035. (JM, Web Only-2017)
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