- BlendRhone Blend
- WinemakerThierry Sabon
- RegionRhone Valley
Clos du Mont-Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvee du Papet 2020
And... It's back, just hit the docks, and we couldn't wait to offer it to you, a clear fan of the very best of Clos du Mont-Olivet's portfolio – believed by many in the know to be at the very, very best of Châteauneuf-du-Pape… this gives Chateau Rayas a run, at a fraction of the price! The scores haven't hit yet, but it's super-limited, so don't wait to add a few of these to your collection!
Thierry Sabon is the “insider” mastermind behind this Domaine, a traditionalist who makes heady, powerful, yet elegant and garrigue-laden wines from 60-120-year-old grenache vines. If you know, well, you know! Personally, we think this Cuvée du Papet is one of the greatest wines in the world for under $100. If you’ve never experienced this, now is the time. No scores to be had yet on 2020, but this is one of those wines where if you wait for the score... good luck finding it (and if you do, the price will likely have gone up!). The consistency of this wine speaks for itself, with each of the last few vintages receiving scores like 97, 99, 100...you know, pedestrian sort of stuff.
Cuvée du Papet is the estate's top wine from its oldest grenache vines, many of which were planted in 1901, and is produced only in the finest of vintages. The Sabon family's ancient three-story stone house looks directly upon the ruins of the papal “châteauneuf” that gives the town its name. You’ll find cellars stacked high with dusty bottles - many without labels - stashed by winemaker Thierry Sabon's grandfather when he first started making wine. The sources for this cuvee come from the family’s best of the best holdings, ‘Montalivet’, ‘La Crau’, and ‘Bois Dauphin.’ Soils are mostly sandy with some ‘galets roulés’, or large quartz stones, punctuating the otherwise desolate landscape. 5% each of syrah and mourvedre round out this grenache-dominant wine, built to age and develop over the decades. The aromas of crushed blackberry, fennel, tarragon, and white pepper erupt powerfully from the glass yet lead to a graceful palate of black cherries, pastis, black raspberries, and roasted Herbs de Provence. This is densely layered yet unbelievably pure of character... it is hard to imagine it changing much over the years... only amplifying in intensity as the depths reveal themselves.
All grapes are harvested by hand and sorted both in the fields and in the cellar, and then fermented on indigenous yeasts in cement tanks. Wines are aged in a combination of older demi-muid, French barrels, terracotta amphorae, and stainless steel tanks. The 2020 vintage heralded a return to classicism – especially for grenache-heavy wines like this – as the cooler season lends to wines of bright acidity, delicate harmony, and pleasurable balance. There is no doubt that Thierry Sabon’s ancient vines supported him in capturing some real nuance here. It is ripe but elegant without ever feeling over-the-top. It’s filled with floral lift and garrigue, with complex spice nuance and firm, integrated tannins that maintain through the incredibly long finish. In short, it is stunning!
We wouldn’t be surprised to see some big scores tied to this stellar wine in the coming weeks...but as I said, it will likely be long gone by then. Only 7 cases available! Go, go, GO!