2008 Clos Saint-Jean, Chateauneuf-du-Pape
"(The 2008 Clos St-Jean's)...May be the finest 2008s I tasted on my recent trip" ROBERT PARKER
"Pascal and Vincent Maurel appear to have achieved great success in both 2008 and 2009 (and don't forget they produced three perfect wines in 2007). To say they are on a qualitative hot streak is the understatement of the wine world. This is a large estate of over 100 acres with extensive holdings in some of the finest sectors of Chateauneuf du Pape, especially in La Crau and high on the plateau north of the village. The Maurels had the foresight to bring in the gifted consultant, Philippe Cambie, when they took over in 2002 after their father's passing. 2002 was the worst year in Chateauneuf du Pape since 1932 because of the historic flooding that region experienced. Clos Saint-Jean's first successes were from 2003 when they produced some of the best wines of the vintage. They have followed those successes with wines that are in the top 10-12 Chateauneufs of the vintage every year – no easy task given the young generation that is pushing the qualitative envelope further and further with each new vintage. Everything is made with extraordinary attention to detail and a new winery has been built on the lower slopes of the village, behind Clos du Mont Olivet and Vieux Donjon. They now have the capacity to control temperature and have more space than they did in their old facility at the entrance to the village." Robert Parker
This domaine offers exquisitely sumptuous, contemporary Chateauneufs, of great purity and finesse. The regular cuvee is anything but regular; and in 2008 it has an elegance that is comparable to the wines of Burgundy. The super cuvees are highly sought after every year, but more so now after both receiving 100 points from Robert Parker for the exceptional 2007 vintage. Following on, their 2008s have produced (yet again) outstanding results.
2008 Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Shelf Price $86
"The outstanding 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape reveals a dark plum/garnet color along with a sweet nose of cranberries, black cherries, smoke, herbs and meat juices. Fleshy, medium to full-bodied and silky smooth, this endearing seductive 2008 should drink nicely for 7-8 years. 90 points" Robert Parker
2008 Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape 'Deus Ex-Machina"
Shelf Price $173
"The 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape Deus-Ex Machina is the wine of the vintage. A dense purple color is accompanied by astonishing levels of concentration, and loads of garrigue, steak tartare, grilled beef, Provencal herbs, blackberries, blueberries and a touch of graphite. Full-bodied and rich with moderate tannins and a long finish, this is an aberration for a 2008. However, if it's a freak, it's an extraordinary one. Give it 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 25 years. 95 points" Robert Parker.
2008 Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape 'Combes Du Fous"
Shelf Price $173
"Another shocker in the best sense is the 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous. As I wrote last year, this is one of the most complex and concentrated wines of the vintage. An extraordinary perfume of white chocolate, roasted Provencal herbs, lavender, licorice, black cherries and sweet black currants is followed by a broad, expansively flavored wine with a superb full-bodied texture, terrific purity and a 40+ second finish. In fact, the tannins are such that 1-2 years of bottle age may be beneficial. This 2008 should evolve for 15 years. It is almost impossible to believe that something like this could have been achieved in this vintage. 94 points" Robert Parker.