Jeb Dunnuck | Rating: 100More cured meats, spice, loamy soil notes, and an incredible core of kirsch and currant fruits emerge from the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus Ex Machina. Deep, incredibly concentrated, multi-dimensional and long, it reminds me of the 2007 at this same point in time. This cuvée is always a 60/40 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre, brought up in tank and new demi-muids, and in top vintages, needs 2-5 years of bottle age to really shine, yet I always also fine a certain accessibility given its balance and purity. It’s capable of lasting for two decades.Drink Dates: 2020-2040Author: Jeb Dunnuck
Today, Pascal and Vincent Maurel manage the estate. They brought in Philippe Cambie in 2002 as their consultant. The vineyards of Clos Saint Jean are planted on 44 hectares located on the stony terroir of La Crau. 1 hectare of vines is reserved for grapes used in making white Chateauneuf du Pape wine. Clos Saint Jean believes in complete destemming of the berries. The maceration period is long and can last up to 35 days. The Grenache is never aged in any type of wood. The Mourvedre and Syrah is aged in a combination of one year old and two year old oak barrels.
While the is known mostly for single-varietal wines from or , the is known for complex blends. , for example, allows up to 13 different varieties in a blend leaving winemakers ample room to experiment. This variation makes it almost impossible to describe a typical Rhône blend. Regardless of style, the common goal of these winemakers is to manage high tannin and alcohol levels in order to produce a balanced wine.
The most widely planted variety, , dominates most Rhône blends and adds concentrated spiced red fruit flavors with cinnamon, raspberry, and tobacco characteristics. and Mourvèdre add color and tannin, with Syrah contributing aromas of blueberry, pepper, and bacon while Mourvèdre adds dense black fruit flavors and gamey and meaty aromas. Cinsault provides red fruit flavor. For the best expression of this complex blend turn to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and classic producers like , , or .
Many New-World wine regions, particularly in and , have adopted this winemaking method. The best examples come from producers , , and .
The complexity and spice-forward flavor profile of Rhône blends pair best with herb-roasted turkey, pork chops, a range of cheeses, or spiced vegetables.