The 2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous is an utterly brilliant wine! A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Vaccarese, it offers an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, sappy garrigue, ground pepper, and searing minerality that is anchored by a core of sweet red and black fruits. More elegant and seamless than the Deus-Ex Machina, it has full-bodied power, layers of texture, and a blockbuster finish that highlights masses of silky tannin. Thrilling stuff and my favorite vintage of the cuvee to date, it deserves 3-4 years of bottle age, and will evolve for 2+ decades.
Also up with the top wines of the vintage, the 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Combe des Fous shows the darker fruit and minerality of the vintage with its creme de cassis, blackberry, ground pepper, licorice and ample crushed rock-like minerality. Gaining more than one expletive in the notes, this full-bodied 2010 has thrilling purity of fruit, massive underlying structure and a rich, layered and decadent feel on the finish. As with most 2010s, it needs another 3 to 4 years of bottle age and will easily have two decades of overall longevity. Drink through 2037. (JD)
(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. (JR)
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. (JM)
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