Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clos Saint Jean Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Les Calades, 2001

This may be the best vintage I've had of this under-$10 Vin de Pays from Clos Saint Jean. The wine comes from old vines very close to the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation, and it often comes close in quality to the estate's Chateauneuf--or at least it was prior to the changes made starting with the 2003 vintage. (As I noted in another post, Clos Saint Jean hired Philippe Cambie as a consultant in 2003.)

This 2001 is medium deep crimson but has lightened considerably over the past year or so. It was very good in its youth but is even better today with well defined notes of ripe red raspberries and garrigue. Very aromatic and has elegant, well focused flavors that you would expect from a fine Grenache-based wine. Not a powerhouse but very close to Chateauneuf du Pape quality. The price tag says $8.99 but I got most of my bottles on sale for $6.99.

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