A hidden treasure in Burgundy, Henri Jouan is a long-time friend and contemporary of the legendary Jacky Truchot who sold his vineyards and estate in 2005. Like Truchot, tradition plays a very important part in his style of winemaking, with the techniques employed in his cellar practically unchanged since the very beginning of the domaine. This means predominantly old oak, 100% destemming, and gentle extraction through cool-fermentations in concrete tanks. Henri’s son, Philippe, is at the forefront of this tiny domaine today, and still continues the old-school techniques employed by his father, including the use of his 100-year old wooden press used by his great grandfather.
Martin was handed the reigns from his father in 1997 and made fundamental changes such as cutting down significantly on the number of different varieties grown and focussing predominantly on the noble varieties Riesling and Pinot Noir. He also uprooted vines in less favourable sites, made great improvements in the cellar, and turning his back on tradition, shifted the style towards five dry, single-vineyard wines, expressing that he “wanted to leave no winemaking imprint on the wines, to have the wines express their origins, as they do in Burgundy”. And this, he does with perfection as each wine shows a distinct personality – a reflection of the soil and terroir in which it comes from. These are amazing mineral-driven Rieslings, full of richness, complexity and depth that holds great ageing potential.
Robert Parker listed Clos des Papes as one of the Top 155 Producers in the World.
Though overall their wines show a little bit more concentration than that of Truchot, they remain very elegant, pure and aromatic wines that shine all the way through from their Coteaux Bourguignon and especially their Grand Crus. This is helped by their collection of old vines, with the youngest at 40 years and some as old as 80-100 years such as his prized Morey St Denis Clos Sorbe 1er Cru, which both Jouans consider on par with that of a Grand Cru. Though their production is tiny, with only a mere three hectares across Chambolle Musigny, Gevrey Chambertin, and Morey St Denis, Burgundy lovers will not want to miss out on these wines – they are charming, and a real delight to drink whether young or old.
"It boasts a cool, fresh nose of strawberries, cola and tree bark, yet it's full-bodied and tannic on the palate."
WA96 by Joe Czerwinski
2017 Clos des Papes • Chateauneuf du Pape
He blends grapes from his different plots to co-ferment in large vats, after which he then re-blends in to large 20-55 hectoliter wooden foudres (casks) to mature for 15 months. New or small barrels are never used, “I like the oak to make an indirect impact – I only want tannins from the grape skins not even the pips and certainly not the stalks” says Avril. And though it may not be widely known, this domaine has been buying corks from the same producer in Portugal ever since 1926!
The wines are no doubt enticing, garnering great praise from many publications and critics such as Wine Spectator who awarded their 2005 vintage as “Wine of the Year”, stating that “in the Southern Rhône's recent trio of great vintages starting with 2003, no other Châteauneuf-du-Pape domaine has produced better wines than Clos des Papes”. But the accolades don’t stop there, as Robert Parker followed on to pronounce the 2007 vintage “the greatest Chateauneuf du Pape made since 1978 and 1990”.
We at Ginsberg+Chan are extremely proud to be the exclusive distributors of Clos des Papes, and with good volumes of both red and white back vintages too, we can ensure you a wide range of drinking windows for your cellar.
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