The greatest young wine I’ve ever tasted, the 2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum is a blend of 100% Grenache, from a single plot in La Crau, that is aged all in demi-muids and bottled only in magnum. It offers an unbelievable drinking experience, with insanely good aromas of kirsch liqueur, spice-box, garrigue, licorice, and subtle floral qualities all soaring from the glass. This is followed by a massive, yet elegant and ethereal wine that has a seamless, pure texture, perfect balance, and thrilling amounts of extract and backend tannic structure that come together perfectly on the finish. Nothing is out of place, it never seems heavy, and is not anywhere close to over the top. Unfortunately, with only 400 magnums to go around, this will be a hard bottle to get a hold of; nevertheless, it is an extraordinary wine that most likely has 3+ decades of longevity.
My favorite wine in the world may be Clos Saint-Jean’s 100% Grenache Chateauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum, which comes from old vines planted between 1902 and 1905 in the La Crau sector. The 2010 (820 magnums produced) hit 16.7% natural alcohol, but one would never know that from the wine’s intensity. This magical wine boasts an inky/ruby/purple color, astonishing richness and an extraordinary perfume of black raspberries, blackberries, licorice, lavender and loamy soil. So pure, unctuous and viscous, it is over-the-top in richness and intensity. Like all of the world’s greatest wines, it is an intellectual and hedonistic beauty that is capable of pure magic in its aromas and flavors. It should hit full maturity in about a decade, and last at least three decades thereafter. (RP)
A lush, heady style, with raspberry coulis, blackberry paste and plum pâte de fruit notes layered with toasted wood spice and baker’s chocolate notes. The finish picks up more and more grip with air in the glass. Will benefit from cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2035. (JM)
(two new demi-muids of this; made from a tiny parcel of old vines grenache that was planted in 1905; bottled exclusively in magnums): Bright ruby. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes candied red and dark berries, potpourri, sandalwood and Asian spices. Smells like an exotic Grand Cru Burgundy from a ripe vintage. Coats the palate with sweet black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors that gain energy and spiciness with air. Gentle tannins give shape and grip to an endless, sweet, penetrating finish. (JR)
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