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Carole and Dany Chastan at the Clos du Joncuas have sent us a new shipment containing their superb 2015 Gigondas and 2016 Vacqueyras along with a few cases each of Gigondas from 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010! We're very thankful that the Chastans continue to ship us these back vntages, and at reasonable prices. It's a great opportunity to taste mature traditionally made Rhone wines that show the different qualitiies of the vintage without artifice, new oak or over-extraction. And their 2015 Gigondas is a superb wine, both for current drinking and for cellaring fifteen to twenty years - it's a great vintage for this wine - a must for any lover of Southern Rhone Grenache, and it's a fabulous value!
Please Note: All wines arrive by Wednesday 04/18, 3 bottle limit on the older vintages, please.
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. Vinifications here are entirely old-school; whole-clusters fermented with wild yeasts in cement and aged in old barrels. In this shipment: the 2015 "Esprit de Grenache" from massale-selection old-vine Grenache is a deep, complex and profound wine that should be held for a few years then enjoyed until 2040; the 2016 Vacqueyras "La Fond de Papier" is a beautiful wine in a slightly brighter style, showing lovely deep black fruit - it will be a great pairing with grilled foods this summer, as will the 2015 Seguret "La Garancière" which has softened nicely showing complex velvety. fruit; and don't overlook the 2016 Seguret Blanc, from 50% Clairette, 25% Roussanne and 25% Viognier, which shows subtle aromas of dried pear, lime-flower and stone, with ripe pear, peach, stone, herbal and citrus flavors on the palate. Our congratulations to Carole and Dany for their long-time organic farming and their superb "old school" winemaking!
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. Dany and Carole Chastan have made another superb Vacqueyras in 2016, a bit brighter than the opulent 2015 version, showing dark black/red color and bright aromas of blackberry, black olive and licorice with plum skin, garrigue, violet and bitter chocolate. This young wine is showing deep black fruits with firm acidity and terrific length with chalky mineral notes, earth, citrus and olive. This will be fantastic with grilled foods, stews and tagines and will develop nicely over the next 10 - 15 years. Highly recommended and a great value! David Lillie
This is Gigondas at its finest! 100% Grenache from massale selection old vines, fermented in cement, and aged in large oak vats before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal added sulphur. 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
70% Grenache, with Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, always farmed organically, hand harvested, whole-cluster wild yeast fermentation, aged in cement vat, un-fined, unfiltered. The 2015 Seguret shows a very dark red/black color, with aromas of ripe cherry and strawberry liqueur, prune, earth, stone and provençal spices. The palate is quite dense and supple with black berry, prune and earth with red currant and floral notes backed with firm citrusy acids, very saline and long in the finish. This is a big, solid wine that has opened up nicely over the past year, becoming softer, velvety and complex - just delicious! It will accompany steaks, chops and burgers, a daube niçoise, tagines and full flavored cheeses. It's a fabulous value for drinking over the next five years. David Lillie
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.
80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. This is a dense, old-school Gigondas that needs time. Dark purple/black color, deep blackberry aromas with earth, brown spice, prune and licorice. The palate is deep and dense with blackberry, garrigue, earth and mineral flavors framed in firm tannins and acidity Long finish of earthy minerals and black fruits. (April 2015) Tasted in January 2017 at the estate, the wine showed fabulous aromas of berry liqueur, earth, mint, garrigue and licorice; the palate was beautifully structured, deep, elegant and balanced with firm acidity and a great finish. Ten years from maturity but beautiful now with a steak if you can't wait... Bravo to the Chastan family for continuing to make wines like this!
What a pleasure to have some mature Gigondas on the shelf! Reviewed in 2008, Drink Rhone said, "A typical Grenache nature for the bouquet. The palate starts with clean-cut black fruit that has plenty of body. It stretches out well, the fruit keeps going and the palate ends on some mildly crisp tannin. The fruit has a mature taste, and the aftertaste reflects licorice. A traditional, no-nonsense wine that persists well. There is good style in the fruit, and the wine is authentic. Drink until 2019." Tasted in January 2017, we thought it was lovely, with mature black fruit aromas, earth, plum, blood orange, licorice and spice - really drinking beautifully. Limit 3 per customer, please. DL