Bottle Notes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2003 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina – Bottle Notes

The 2003 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina was the winning bottle in the November Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

Clos Saint Jean was founded in 1900 in Chateauneuf du Pape and is still a small, family-run operation. The estate produces 12,500 cases annually. Brothers Pascal and Vincent Maurel run the business. Clos Saint Jean primarily produces Chateauneuf du Pape, including the Vieilles Vignes and several special cuvees including the Combe des Fous and Deus-Ex Machina. In 2002, Philippe Cambie was hired as consulting oenologist.

Deus ex Machina is a literary and dramatic term for a miraculous intervention that interrupts a logical course of events in a plot or play. A suitable name for a cuvée that had it’s start in the torrid vintage of 2003 when Philippe Cambie and Vincent Maurel made the decision to harvest at the end of September, weeks after their neighbors. Deus ex Machina is 60% old vine Grenache from La Crau, aged in concrete tank and 40% old vine Mourvedre from the sandy soils of Bois-Dauphin aged in demi-muid.

Ruby red in color. 14.5% ABV. Sublime nose of red fruits, garrigue, roasted herbs and blood. Medium to full bodied with tremendous acidity. Rich and decadent with structure and power in spades. Kirsch liqueur, cracked pepper, plums and charred meats on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. One of the few 2003’s that has stood the test of time. A monumental wine. I’ll open my last bottle in 2028 when it reaches 25 years of age.

My rating: 98 points.

The 2019 version is available at retail and is fairly priced around $120 per bottle.

Tagged , ,

Leave a Comment