What if Claux were Saint Cosme’s finest wine? Our latest tasting of mature wines at the estate certainly warrants the question. Admittedly, Le Claux is the oldest vineyard at Saint Cosme and one of the first post-phylloxera plantings in France, but why does this soil produce such high quality? We are touching upon the most fascinating aspect of our profession: accepting that we can observe things, but are at a loss to explain them. Having said that, the microclimate at Saint Cosme probably has a significant impact on this site: the cool airflow from the small Font des Papes valley constantly cools the area, yielding intensely aromatic fruit. The fact that Le Claux is our last vineyard to ripen tends to substantiate the influence of the cold. We almost always finish harvesting at Le Claux. The grapes therefore ripen slowly, as for many top wines... This reminds me of something my father said to me one day, when I was performing a task badly because I was in too much of a rush: “If you want to move fast, slow down”.
The 1.8-hectare Le Claux—meaning “Clos” in old French—is a field blend of predominately Grenache. Louis Barruol believes 10% of the vineyard is from the original 1870 planting. Vines are replaced by massal selection and the average vine age is 60-years.
Aged for twelve months: 20% in new casks - 50% in casks used for one wine - 30% in casks used for two wines.
Despite its massive body, this wine suggests a thrilling angularity throughout. Blackberry and raspberry flavors are unctuous but finely cut by shards of acidity and a vital mineral tone. Judicious veins of nut, smoke and vanilla integrate into a long, penetrating palate. The wine drinks well now but is likely to improve through 2037. Editors' Choice -A.I.
The 2017 Gigondas le Claux features deep blue and black fruit on the nose. It's full-bodied in the mouth, with a generous, silky mouthfeel and an expansive, voluptuous finish that folds in hints of dark chocolate and salted licorice. All Grenache, from vines planted in the 19th century, it's a terrific Gigondas. Anticipated Maturity: 2020-2035