Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2018, Rhône, France

Clos Saint Jean is a 41 hectare estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape run by brothers Vincent and Pascal Maurel. Considered by many critics and wine-writers as the preeminent estate espousing the modern style of winemaking in Châteauneuf, this cellar is one of the oldest in the region having been founded in 1900 by the great-great-grandfather of Vincent and Pascal, Edmund Tacussel. The farming at Clos Saint Jean is fully sustainable due to the warm and dry climate which obviates the need for chemical inputs. Vincent and Pascal employ organic methods for pest control, mainly pheromones to prevent pests from taking up residence in their vines a process called amusingly enough in French, confusion sexuelle. The vines are also worked manually and harvest is conducted in several passes entirely by hand. Once harvested, the grapes are transported to the cellar in small bins. The reds are almost entirely destemmed with about 10% whole clusters retained. Fermentation follows in concrete vats. Macerations are long, averaging 35 days on the skins. Varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Muscardin. Aging: Grenache 12 months in concrete tanks, remaining varieties aged 12 months in French oak.