Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2015
If you read my latest blog post titled "Intervention," you know that I talked about how much I love Rhone Valley wines from France, and that the 2015 Vintage is looking to be an Outstanding Vintage. Combine that with the fact that I really love white wines from the Rhone Valley and you will understand why my "Wine of the Week" this week is a White Chateauneuf du Pape from Clos Saint Jean from that spectacular 2015 Vintage.
Founded in 1910 and primarily located in the Le Crau region of Chateauneuf, their sustainably farmed vineyards consist of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Muscardin, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette. For now I am focused only on the last three as these make up the white wine (blanc) for Clos Saint Jean.
Hand harvested, the Grenache Blanc and the Clairette are sent to stainless steel tanks for fermentation to preserve the fruitiness, while the Roussanne undergoes aging in both French Oak casks and concrete tanks before blending the grapes in equal amounts. Personally, I like Rhone whites that include Grenache Blanc as I believe it gives the wine a nice balance of minerality and fruit.
Upon pouring you notice the bright clear light yellow nectar in your glass, followed by the aromas of apple and minerality. The wine's taste echos the apple along with a melon quality while lending a creamy quality with a slight grip to it. The nice long finish also presents a slightly earthy edge to it as well.
Rated 94 by Wine Spectator and 92 by Wine Advocate, I would agree on the upper end of those reviews. Here's the difficult part; they only made 350 cases of this wine and only about 100 cases came to the United States. This is an early release for a French wine, but I doubt more will become available later in the season so obtaining it now if interested is in your best interest. I found mine at a warehouse wine shop but only at select stores. It may be available to your local wine shop through Maverick Wine Company. List price is around $50. Not inexpensive but for a white wine drinker that likes em big, give this a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed.