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Cult wines: Sine Qua Non (US) vs. Clos Saint-Jean (Chateauneuf-du-Pape)

October 15, 2017

It is always very exciting to bring together these two cult wines in a blind tasting… These are no girls wines, as they represent the essence of the best that California and Chateauneuf can produce !!  As a general rule, the wine technique is very advanced and “polished” on the SQN side… and the Chateauneuf has a more diverse and complex terroir… the results were quite interesting as # 1 was SQN Touché 2012, #2 Deus Ex-Machina 2015, #3 Combe des Fous 2010 and #4 SQN grenache Stein…

2012 Familia Nin-Ortiz Priorat Selma de Nin
Nose of freshly cutted grass, mineral, honey… nice fatness, finish with nice acidity and freshness and a hint of honey… still too young, will develop in the next 2-3 years! (93 points)

2014 Sine Qua Non Lightmotif
Huge nose, yellow grass drying in the sun, apricot… huge concentration, very fat, lacking a bit acidity and freshness… (94 points)

2010 Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast
Nose of cerise griotte, licorice, hint of vanilla… pure black cherries, mûre, nice acidity… very well made, but a bit simple and monolithic (94 points)

2015 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Syrah
Nose of garrigue, herbes de Provence, nice acidity… Black cherries, nice freshness, nice complexity, nice lenght, almost salty taste, very delicious!! (95 points)

2012 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina
Nose of garrigue, figue, licorice, salty, herbes de Provence… taste of bacon fat, roasted meat, garrigue, huge ripe tannin, very very long aftertaste… this wine has a huge life ahead! (97 points)

2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein
Huge explosive nose of pure balck cherries, nice freshness, super delicious, nice balanced acidity, a little bit monolithic compared to the Chateauneuf that has much more complexity, but very great wine anyway! (96 points)

2005 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina
Wow wow wow, huge nose of black salty licorice, bacon fat, huge ripe black cherries… whaouw, super delicious, super sappy black cherries, huge minerality and lenght of 60 seconds… A perfect wine!! <b>(100 points)</b></p>

2008 Sine Qua Non Grenache THE Line
Huge nose of smoke, bacon, black cherries… super fresh, a bit monolithic lacking complexity, but very well made wine! (98 points)

2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous
Nose of candied ripe red cherries, saltiness, bacon, hint of chocolate… very salty, integrated tannin, good freshness, loads of salty red cherries, 30 seconds finish, quite sappy!! (97 points)

2012 Sine Qua Non Syrah Touché
Magic SQN!! Now I understand all the fuzz about these extended barrel age of SQN 🙂 Very black characoal nose, refreshing, black dry cherries, sandalwood… super concentrated black cherries, tannin still a bit young, great great wine improving a lot with aeration!! (99 points)

2003 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul
Very nice nose of leather, bacon, herbes de Provence, sandalwood, orange peel… Very evolved, gamey, fur, ripe strawberries, lenght of 45 seconds. Super delicious, still 10 years of potential ahead!! (98 points)

2013 Huerta de Albalá Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz Taberner
Huge nose of chocolate, dark red cherries, nice refreshing acidity… Taste of very silky tannin, chocolate, ripe red cherries. (92 points)

1993 Gaja Barolo Sperss
Huge nose of iodine, red berries, sandalwood… Nice fresh drying tannin, red berries, sandalwood, roasted meat… great mature Barolo!! (95 points)


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