2018 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf du Pape "La Combe Des Fous", Rhone Valley, France

Deep in color, the wine explodes with its dark red fruits, fresh cracked black pepper, earthy garrigue, crushed rocks and flowers. Rich and intense, with ample, sweet, ripe, kirsch and cherries that give the finish great length.



La Combe des Fous comes primarily from old vine Grenache planted at the start of the 20th century. The blend is usually 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 10% Vaccarese. The owners clearly have a sense of humor. The name, loosely translated into hill of fools earned its moniker for the difficult terroir as the rocks in and on the soils are huge! The production is only 500 cases per year.


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 Le Crau. This plateau is perhaps the most iconic of the many terroirs of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – 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 Mourvèdre 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 prevents the need for chemical inputs. Instead, 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. The vines tended manually, and harvest is conducted in several passes entirely by hand.


Grape(s) Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese
Farming Biodynamic