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Another shipment has just arrived from the Chastan sisters at the Clos du Joncuas - this time Dani and Carole generously included a few cases of 2010, 2011 and 2012 along with the current releases, giving us a chance to enjoy these beautiful wines as they become more mature. These authentic, organic wines will warm your soul during wintry weather; their superb Rosé is a wine for all seasons, and their complex, full-bodied Seguret Blanc will accompany pork and chicken dishes or a winter fish stew. (Wines arrive Thursday 12/12)
Clos du Joncuas, founded in 1920 by Pierre Auguste Chastan, has always farmed with natural methods and has been officially organic since 1980. Currently run by sisters Dany and Carole Chastan, the estate's Gigondas vines are on slopes below the Dentelles de Montmirail, on soils of clay with dolomite and gypsum over the limestone of the Dentelles, and average 40 to 90 years old. Vinifications here are entirely old-school; whole-clusters fermented with wild yeasts in cement and aged in old barrels. Both in their farming and winemaking, they are the Domaine Gonon of Gigondas! 2015 and 2016 are both excellent vintages here - the reds may be enjoyed in their youth or cellared for fifteen to twenty years. The 2016 Vacqueyras is also a great success, showing deep black fruits with firm acidity and terrific length with chalky mineral notes, earth, citrus and olive, and it's an outstanding value!
2010 Gigondas: A beautiful wine, not yet mature, perfectly structured, remarkably complex. We love the description by John Livingstone-Learmonth in Drinkrhone "The bouquet is great, gives a complete panorama, the aroma sweeps across it rather majestically, on oily, black fruit airs, black raisins, blueberries, good, fresh prompts. It has very good style, lift. Off we go on the palate: menthol, black plum-prune fruit with stylish and free juice, thick and abundant it is. There’s very good, balanced depth in a great combination. It runs with sap [sève] to the finish. This is so true to its place, bears a wonderful set of qualities. It ends running, with vigour, goes very long. The tannins are still well there, salted and fresh, bringing life." Drink now or cellar ten more years, 3 btl maximum, please.
2011 Gigondas: This is much more ready than the 2010, with secondary aromas of tobacco and sous-bois already showing beneath the deep red and black fruits, quite spicey and meaty. Great with a beef stew, drink over the next five years.
2012 Gigondas: We love the 2012 Gigondas - it's a bit lighter and brighter than the norm at Clos du Joncuas with high-toned black fruit, mineral, spice and licorice aromas. The palate is elegant and fresh showing deep supple black fruits with hints of graphite, garrigue and brown spice. After three days, recorked in the fridge, the wine has deepened impressively with pure blackberry, bitter chocolate and licorice aromas, great density on the palate with black fruit liqueur, red currant, earth and anise. A beautiful wine to drink now, or to cellar ten more years.
80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, on Triassic clay/limestone soils, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. Although we love this beautifully old-fashioned, organic wine in every vintage, Dany and Carole Chastan have made perhaps their best wine ever in 2015! The wine shows deep aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, prune, garrigue, musk and citrus, quite focused and elegant. The palate is pure, supple and balanced, even at 15% alcohol, with dense blackberry, tart cherry, red currant, spice, earth and minerals, with tart red fruits, minerals and citrus in the very long finish. This is a superb Gigondas that can be enjoyed immensely now with a steak, pork or lamb chops, Morrocan tagines and full-flavored cheeses. Cellar 10 to 15 years for a mature experience. This is a superb wine and a great value - thanks to Carole and Dany for their great farming and traditional winemaking!
80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, on Triassic clay/limestone soils, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. The 2016 is another beautiful Gigondas from the Clos du Joncuas, perhaps with less fat and density than the 2015 but quite elegant and more Burgundian in style. The aromas sing of black cherry liqueur, licorice, black olive and garrigue; the palate is dense and focused with blackberry, cherry, black olive, bitter chocolate and earth with nice sappy length with firm acidity. Drinking well now, decant if possible, or hold for five years, then drink until about 2035. David Lillie
From 80% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre, grown on gravelly limestone terraces, always farmed organically, whole-cluster fermention and aged in concrete vats. Dany and Carole Chastan have made another superb Vacqueyras in 2016, a bit brighter than the opulent 2015 version, showing dark black/red color and bright aromas of blackberry, black olive and licorice with plum skin, garrigue, violet and bitter chocolate. This young wine is showing deep black fruits with firm acidity and terrific length with chalky mineral notes, earth, citrus and olive. This will be fantastic with grilled foods, stews and tagines and will develop nicely over the next 10 - 15 years. Highly recommended and a great value! David Lillie
70% Grenache, with Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, always farmed organically, hand harvested, whole-cluster wild yeast fermentation, aged in cement vat, un-fined, unfiltered. The 2016 shows a medium garnet/black color with aromas of red currant and blackberry liqueur, plum skin, spice and black pepper. The palate shows nice density of chocolately black fruits with berry liqueur and a sappy, chalky texture, with a bit of tannin in the firm finish. Serve with a pork stew, Morrocan tagine or grilled steak.
This is a beautiful Gigondas Rosé from our organic friends at Clos du Joncuas. Pretty bright pink/orange color, aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, blood orange, peach skin and rose. Full palate with silky raspberry, peach, citrus and mineral flavors and firm acidity, beatifully balanced and refreshing. Long finish with tart cherry, peach, earth, and citrusy acids. A bit riper and more expressive than the 2017, and still young – it should open up nicely over the next two years. It's elegant and delicious now and very food-friendly – serve with grilled fish and white meats, salade nicoise, vegetarian dishes and Provençal foods. A great rosé to enjoy all year-round!
50% Clairette (some vines 100 years-old) with Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, always organically farmed, wild yeast fermentation, aged in enamel vat. Floral dried pear, apricot, hay, thyme aromas. Ripe pear, stone, caramel, lemon, anise on the palate. A complex, ripe wine with a supple palate but with good acidity that will pair with fish stews, shellfish, pork and chicken dishes as well as full-flavored goat cheeses. This is an outstanding Southern Rhône white and a great value! David Lillie
80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. This is a dense, old-school Gigondas that needs time. Dark purple/black color, deep blackberry aromas with earth, brown spice, prune and licorice. The palate is deep and dense with blackberry, garrigue, earth and mineral flavors framed in firm tannins and acidity Long finish of earthy minerals and black fruits. (April 2015) Tasted in January 2017 at the estate, the wine showed fabulous aromas of berry liqueur, earth, mint, garrigue and licorice; the palate was beautifully structured, deep, elegant and balanced with firm acidity and a great finish. Ten years from maturity but beautiful now with a steak if you can't wait... Bravo to the Chastan family for continuing to make wines like this!
Tasted in January of 2019 in France, the 2011 Clos du Joncuas Gigondas showed beautifully, opening up nicely with flavors of earthy cherry, blackberry and garrigue, with licorice and spice in the long finish, really ready to drink, although five more years would bring a softer and more secondary experience. Highly recommended. David Lillie
Clos du Joncuas, founded in 1920 by Pierre Auguste Chastan, has always farmed with natural methods and has been officially organic since 1980. Currently run by sisters Dany and Carole Chastan, the estate's Gigondas vines are on slopes below the Dentelles de Montmirail on soils of clay with dolomite and gypsum over the limestone of the Dentelles and average 40 to 90 years old. 80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. The 2012 Gigondas is a bit lighter and brighter than the norm at Clos du Joncuas with high-toned black fruit, mineral, spice and licorice aromas. The palate is elegant and fresh showing deep supple black fruits with hints of graphite, garrigue and brown spice. After three days, recorked in the fridge, the wine has deepened impressively with pure blackberry, bitter chocolate and licorice aromas, great density on the palate with black fruit liqueur, red currant, earth and anise. A beautiful wine! Serve cool and decant many hours if drinking young, or cellar for five to fifteen years.
This is Gigondas at its finest! 100% Grenache from massale selection old vines, fermented in cement, and aged in large oak vats before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal added sulphur. 2015 is a great vintage for Dany and Carole Chastan at the Clos du Joncuas, and their 2015 Esprit de Grenache is simply outstanding. Since 1900 the estate has been farmed organically and the winemaking here is completely traditional with whole-cluster fermentations and aging in old foudres. Tasted at the estate in January of 2017, the wine showed dense elegant black fruit aromas with licorice and earth. The palate is pure and long with deep blackberry flavors with olive, earth, citrus and bitter chocolate - just fantastic! As with all the 2015s here, the wine is delicious in its youthful fruit and intensity, but ten to fifteen years of aging will reveal a truly great southern Rhone Grenache. Very highly recommended! DL