2004 clos st. jean combes des fous chateauneuf du pape
black currant, blackberry, dust, leather, currant, blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, musk, plum, violet, almond, dark berry and spice
vanilla, toast, smoke, tobacco, dark fruit, red fruit, spice box, cedar, game, tar, dust, plum, violet, almond, dark berry and spice
"The 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous, a blend of 60% Grenache (from vines planted in 1905) aged in foudre, 20% Syrah (aged in small oak), and the balance 20% Cinsault and Vaccarese aged in larger wood vessels, exhibits a dark ruby/purple color and a gorgeous nose of spring flowers intermixed with truffle, blueberry, blackberry, and kirsch liqueur. Medium to full-bodied, dense, chewy, and complex, this is a stunning 2004 that can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15+ years. Under the inspired winemaking talent of Rhone oenologist Philippe Cambie in addition to proprietor Vincent Maurel, 2003 marked a breakthrough vintage for Clos Saint-Jean, and that has been followed by some of the finest wines of 2004 and blockbusters again in 2005. This 120-acre estate possesses some of the best old vine parcels of the appellation and has always had enormous potential, but the style of aging the wines in foudres for 5-6 years or longer resulted in too many wines that were dried out and lacked freshness. That has all changed under Cambie's inspired winemaking, which keeps the Grenache in large foudres or demi-muids, and then ages the Syrah and Mourvedre components in smaller barrels. Yields, which were already low, have been lowered even further, and the wine is now bottled with neither fining nor filtration. If you haven't caught on to the exquisite quality of Clos Saint-Jean's Chateauneuf du Papes, now is the time. Just a reminder - their 2003s were some of the great wines of that irregular vintage in Chateauneuf du Pape, and they can still be found in the marketplace. These wines still remain somewhat underpriced vis-a-vis their quality, and a real bargain is the regular cuvee of Chateauneuf du Pape, normally a blend of 70-75% Grenache all aged in tank or large foudres and the rest Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault."