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Clos Saint Antonin

Clos Saint Antonin is a 15-hectare estate located outside the town of Jonquières within the Côtes-du-Rhône Village of Plan de […]

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Clos Saint Antonin

Clos Saint Antonin is a 15-hectare estate located outside the town of Jonquières within the Côtes-du-Rhône Village of Plan de Dieu. A short drive away from Courthézon, where Domaine de la Janasse is situated, Clos Saint Antonin was purchased by the Sabon family in 2014. Small, compact, and contiguous estates rarely come on the market in the Rhône, let alone ones planted on the classic red clays, galets, and sand typical of Plan de Dieu. While it is quite common to see the famed estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape looking over the Rhône river towards Lirac to expand their holdings, more and more are looking north to Plan de Dieu since this terroir is quite similar to what they find in their backyard. While the whole family is involved with its farming and winemaking, Isabelle Sabon is heading up this new project – one supplemented by some of her family’s vineyards in Le Crau for the Clos Saint Antonin Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Despite being a recognized Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Plan de Dieu has long been in the shadow of the more famous Cairanne and Rasteau to its immediate north. If you would compare this terroir to its neighbors, it could best be summarized as having the potential richness of Rasteau, married to the lift and precision of Cairanne. There is a diversity of soils in this appellation, made clear by walking the vineyards in winter, where the heavier clays on the gentle, lower slopes give way to gravel and galets on the crest of this hill. And if you’re standing in these vineyards as the mistral begins to blow, you’ll realize just how exposed these vineyards are to the winds that buffet this open plain year-round. Corresponding to the changes in terroir, the whites are planted on the heavier clay soils; the Côtes-du-Rhône is made from younger vines and those on the mid-slope where clay mixes with fine gravel, while the Plan de Dieu comes entirely from the older vines on the galets-rich soils at the top of the hill where the old, derelict Mas of St-Antonin is gently crumbling back into the landscape.

Isabelle makes four wines at her estate: a IGP Principauté d’Orange from Clairette, Chardonnay & Bourboulenc, a Côtes-du-Rhône from younger vines of Grenache, Syrah & Mourvèdre, a Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu from older vines of Grenache, Mourvèdre & Syrah, and a Châteauneuf-du-Pape from old vines of Grenache located in La Fond du Loup and Le Crau. The grapes for these cuvées are farmed organically and harvested by hand then partially destemmed and fermented by nautral yeasts at Domaine de la Janasse. Aging is in concrete tanks, foudres and neutral French oak demi-muids.

Some of the photos we used are courtesy of © Photo credits: Henrik Ehlers, Jysk Vin. Mange tak!

Rhône, France
  • Location
    Rhône, France
  • Primary Appellation
  • Proprietor
    Isabelle Sabon
  • Winemaker
    Isabelle Sabon
  • Size / Elevation
    15 hectares / 100-300 meters
  • Age of Vines
    15-70 years
  • Farming
  • Varieties
    Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Clairette, Chardonnay, Bourboulenc
  • Cellar
    Hand harvested, partially destemmed, natural yeast fermentation in stainless steel and concrete tanks, aging in tank, concrete, demi-muid, and foudre