2021 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, Rhone Valley, France
ABOUT THIS WINE
In a 41 hectare estate, there is only 1 hectare of white varieties: Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne in roughly equal proportions. The Grenache and Clairette is pressed directly into tank upon reaching the cellar where it is fermented and aged on its lees. The Roussanne is harvested in several passes and pressed into French oak for fermentation and aging. The final wine is blended and bottled in the spring after the harvest.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Clos Saint Jean is a 41 hectare estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape run by brothers Vincent and Pascal Maurel. Considered by many critics and wine-writers as the preeminent estate espousing the modern style of winemaking in Châteauneuf, this cellar is one of the oldest in the region having been founded in 1900 by the great-great-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal, Edmund Tacussel. A short time after its founding and well before the AOP of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was created in 1923, Edmund began bottling estate wines in 1910.
The various vineyards of Clos Saint Jean are located primarily in the region of Le Crau. This plateau is perhaps the most iconic of the many terroirs of Châteauneuf-duPape – iron-rich red clays topped with galets. While about 60% of their vineyards are located here, specifically in the lieu-dits of Côteau de Saint Jean and Cabane de Saint-Jean, another 40% are located in alluvial clay and sandy soils adjacent to the plateau. They also own a small parcel of Mourvedre in the lieu-dit of Bois-Dauphin near Château Rayas planted on sandy, limestone-rich soils.
The farming at Clos Saint Jean is fully sustainable due to the warm and dry climate which obviates the need for chemical inputs. Vincent and Pascal employ organic methods for pest control, mainly pheromones to prevent pests from taking up residence in their vines a process called amusingly enough in French, confusion sexuelle.