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One of the most recognizable French saints, Saint Martin was known for sharing. In 1879, local monks erected the saint’s cross (in the provincial language, crous means cross), as a landmark to indicate the road to Châteauneuf. 1879 was also a great year for French wine.
Crous St. Martin reveres this history surrounding its winery; it’s obvious from its name and the name of this wine. The 2019 Crous St Martin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Hommage a l'an 1879 expresses both French history and the prized regional terroir, a terroir that’s prized for the Grenache-based blends that grow in its soils composed of river stones made of quartzite mixed with brown clay. Those stones absorb the sun’s heat during the day and give it back off during the night, giving Crous St. Martin wines depth and concentration.
The winery is a collaboration between Rhone expert Harry Bosmans and winemaker Eric Bonnet of Domaine Bastide Saint Dominique. Eric spent his early winemaking years up North in Burgundy, and that influence still shows in the delicate balance he is able to achieve between power and detail in his wines, including this classic GSM blend, a blend that’s the backbone of most Chateauneuf wines.
Grenache is joined by Syrah and Mourvedre in this blend, and the winery takes great pains to ensure each variety is harvested at the optimal time.The harvest starts with Syrah, followed by Grenache, and finishes with Mourvèdre which needs more time to mature. The result is an elegant, silky wine full of blue and black fruits, spice, and polished tannins. A quintessential Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and one of the best value CdP we’ve seen in a long time.
We have this wine, one that’s already an impressive value at full price, for over $10 off. It’s a crazy good bargain, so take a cue from Saint Martin and be someone who shares. Share this wine with a friend who appreciates a fantastic Grenache blend from the region that does it best.
Aging: 80% steel vat (Grenache), 20% 2 to 5 years in 228-liter oak casks (Syrah-Mourvèdre) raised 15 months, unfined, unfiltered.
Tasting Notes: 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. Ruby colored with aromas of cherry, mulberry, plum, and spices. The palate is full of blackcurrant, spice, and white pepper. Tannins are polished and silky. Round and powerful with a long finish.
Gorgeously silky with the essence of Châteauneuf fruit, blackberry, raspberry, damson, plum, and such velvety tannins. Freshness, purity, depth, and balance, a highly impressive, elegant wine. 5,000 cases made, likely to be very good value. Grown on sandy soils and galets roulés, fermented in stainless steel, aged in old barriques and stainless steel. Drinking Window 2021 - 2032. ~94 Decanter
The 2019 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage A L’An 1880 is cut from the same cloth, with charming Provençal notes of peppery garrigue, licorice, new saddle leather, and assorted red and black fruits. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a touch more concentration and depth, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It will drink nicely for 10-25 years. ~93 Jeb Dunnuck
Bright ruby. Expressive, mineral-accented red and blue fruit and floral scents are complicated by suggestions of smoky minerals and garrigue. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering raspberry and boysenberry flavors that become deeper with air while maintaining urgency. Shows solid, spicy thrust on the appealing sweet, penetrating finish, which features smooth, slow-building tannins. ~93 Vinous Media
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