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We're very proud to be working with Carole and Dany Chastan at the Clos du Joncuas, and we're happy to announce that more of their superb 2015s have arrived including the rare and beautiful "Esprit de Grenache!" This superb wine is made in only the finest vintages from old vines of massale selection Grenache, bottled unfined and unfiltered - 2015 is the first vintage since 2005! The wine is sensational and will be enjoyable young, but cellaring for ten to twenty years is advised. The Clos du Joncuas, founded in 1920 by Pierre Auguste Chastan, has always farmed with natural methods and has been officially organic since 1980, and is usuing biodynamic methods as well. 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 traditional; whole clusters fermented with wild yeasts in cement and aged in old barrels or cement vats. Their old-fashioned winemaking appears to have been particularly successful in the very sunny and dry 2015 vintage, lending structure and brightness to the very ripe fruit. And, happily, the tannins always present in the estate's wines are rounder and softer than normal, making the wines wonderful to drink now and, as always, prime candidates for aging as well. The 2015 Gigondas and Vacqueyras are particularly beautiful, with deep and complex black fruits lifted by floral and red fruit flavors and fresh acidity - they are really outstanding and highly recommended. We can't help quoting our friend John Livinstone-Learmonth in drinkrhone regarding the 2015 Gigondas: "This is archetypical en finesse Gigondas, a most beautiful bottle, a wine of terroir that murmurs its subtle truth in winning fashion." (Subscribers to Vinous may read about the 2015 Vacqueyras in Josh Raynold's excellent article on this under-appreciated appellation.)
Also just arrived, the delicious 2016 Seguret Blanc, made predominantly from Clairette with Marsanne and Viognier. This is a full-bodied white, but quite bright and balanced in this vintage, showing subtle aromas of pear, lime-flower and stone, with stone fruits, herbal and mineral flavors on the palate. This is a great food-wine that will pair with fish in sauce, crab, goat cheeses and Provençal dishes. The 2016 Clos du Joncuas Gigondas Rosé has arrived as well - it's one of our favorite rosés of the year and will drink beautifully over the next two to three years. Both these wines are sensational values and are highly recommended! I like to think of Clos du Joncuas as being the Domaine Pierre Gonon of the Southern Rhone, combining great organic farming with traditional no-nonsense vinifications to produce outstanding wines - if you haven't yet tried the wines of Clos du Joncuas we think it is time!
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
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.
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!
From 80% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre, grown on gravelly limestone terraces, always farmed organically, whole-cluster fermention and aged in concrete vats. 2015 is a great vintage for the always lovely Vacqueyras from Carole and Dany Chastan at Clos du Joncuas. The wine shows very deep aromas of blackberry and floral strawberry compote, earth, citrus, violet and spice. The palate is supple and dense, brightened by floral notes and firm acidity, with ripe blackberry and raspberry fruit, framed in juicy acidity with a very long finish of ripe berry fruits and mineral flavors. This is a beautiful and exuberant wine, quite delicious now, served slightly cool, and it will drink beautifully over the next ten years. A joyful wine and highly recommended! DL
This is Gigondas at its finest! 100% Grenache from old vines, fermented in cement, and aged in large oak vats before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal added sulphur. It gives you that classic Grenache mustiness – like blackberries and blueberries smashed onto the forest floor – but also more fresh and delicate notes of nutmeg and strawberries. Hints of grapefruit peel, vine tomato and pine offer added depth. Given its age, it is still incredibly energetic on the palate with wonderfully resolved tannins and ripe black berry fruit. Truly a complex and delicious wine with a long life ahead of it! Tim Gagnon
(70% Grenache, with Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, always farmed organically, hand harvested, whole-cluster wild yeast fermentation, aged in cement vat, un-fined, unfiltered.) Dense red/black color. Vivid aromas of blackberry and black cherry liqueur with hints of cocoa, citrus peel and licorice. The palate is dense and supple with berry liqueur, cherry pit and firm citrusy acids, fairly bright and cool in the finish. This beautiful young wine will benefit from decanting or 5 years of aging, serve with grilled foods, North African cuisine, strong cheeses. Great value!
50% Clairette, 25% Roussanne, 25% Viognier, always organically farmed, wild yeast fermentation, aged in enamel vat. Subtle aromas of dried pear, lime-flower and stone. Ripe pear, peach, stone, herbal and citrus flavors on the palate. This is a bit brighter and more balanced than the 2015 - really a delicious "food" wine that will pair with a wide variety of full-flavored fish and shellfish dishes, white meats, Asian cuisines and goat cheeses.
This beautifully poised rosé from our friends at Clos du Joncuas is a textbook example of a powerful wine wearing a velvet glove. Its weight and 14% alcohol are balanced out by lively acidity and a persistent minerality that folds itself seamlessly into a long and textured finish. The nose and the attack on the palate is all ripe fruit: tangerine, kumpquat, passion fruit, orange zest, and a hint of honeydew (but the part right up against the rind.) Then the bright acidity kicks in and the wine dances across the palate with vibrant energy. As it resolves, a note of wet granite lingers. Pair it with salade Nicoise or hot dogs, or shout "So What" like P!nk and drink this delicious rosé by itself all summer long, any day, anytime. Oskar Kostecki