Producer Article

Clos Saint Jean

Last edited on 12/31/2013 by Jeff Leve
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The Domaine was founded around 1900 by Edmond Tacussel. However, in 1910 "Clos Saint Jean" was actually created with the registering of the brand. The vineyard has expanded through the generations - in 1920 by Edmondsí son, Leopold Tacussel, in 1930 by Edmondís son-in-law Camille Maurel and in 1957 by his grandson Guy Maurel. When Guy passed away in 1982, his wife Jocelyne Maurel who gave up her teaching position, together with their two sons, Vincent and Pascal (great grandsons of Edmond), took over the management of the family domaine with some of the best situated vines in all of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, all in the area of La Crau. Jocelyne Maurel died in November 2003. In 2002, Philippe Cambie had been hired as consulting oenologist/viticulturist, and he is (as is well-known to readers of Robert Parkerís writings), one of the greatest oenologists of Chateauneuf. Up until early September, the year 2002 was one of the most promising vintages in recent times, but a disastrous flood ruined the vintage. The Maurels sold off the entire crop to negociants and made no wine. In 2003, the brothers and Mr. Cambie were ready and nailed down the 2003 vintage to perfection. What they did was a little counter-intuitive (following the calamity of 2002) and took enormous courage ó they waited, and waited, to pick. Even though 2003 was a hot year, with high sugars early on, they did not succumb to the temptation to pick the crop before it might rain, and instead held off. They started picking in late September, when virtually everyone else had finished. The wines all display supreme physiological and phenolic ripeness, without notes of surmaturity or over-ripeness. They are all deeply colored, rich and profound, even at an early stage.