------ Millésime 2016 ------
Alain JAUME - Rhône Valley
------ Millésime 2015 ------
Alain JAUME - Rhône Valley
Robert Parker #Issue 227 by Jeb Dunnuck
" This sensational estate consistently produces some of the top whites of the appellation, in addition to the reds, and they've done well in 2015. "
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE " VIEILLES VIGNES" 95-98/100
From barrel, the sensationally rich and concentrated 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape "Vieilles Vignes" (50%Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah aged in concrete tanks and small barrels) is more polished, elegant and seamless, with blockbuster notes of ripe black fruits, crushed herbs, pepper, plums and violets. You almost need a fork to drink this beauty, yet it's never heavy or over the top, has incredible purity and present, ripe tannin. I followed this bottle for two days and it only got better with air. Châteauneuf du Pape lovers shouldn't miss it.
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE "LES ORIGINES" 94-96/100
The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Origines (50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 20 % Syrah aged in a mix of concrete tanks and small barrels) has fabulous notes of creme de cassis, blackberry jam, roasted herbs and graphite. Full-bodied, ultra-pure and with incredibly polished tannin, it's up with some of the best vintage of this cuvée to date. It will need 2-3 years of cellaring and have two decades of longevity.
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE "LE MIOCENE" 90-92/100
The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Le Miocène is a classic blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that offers terrific notes of black raspberries, blueberries, violets, pepper and garrigue. It's a medium to full-bodied, rounded, low acid and sexy beauty to drink on release and over the following 7-8 years. The two special cuvées both see aging in barrels, and I think the estate is doing a better job today with the oak integration than in the past.
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE "LA FONTAINE" 92 - 94/100
A bigger, richer wine, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape La Fontaine Blanc is still aging in barrel and is marginally darker in color than the classic white. Buttered apples, brioche, honeycomb and hint of orange blossom emerge from this full-bodied, concentrated, seriously textured white that has moderate acidity and tons of fruit. It will be interesting to see how this comes together, but it has serious potential.
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE " LE MIOCENE" 90/100
Their 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Le Miocène Blanc is their classic cuvée and is 60% Clairette and 40% Roussanne, all from the Cabrières lieu-dit, and I believe raised mostly in stainless steel. It's fresh, crisp and classy, with medium-bodied notes of spiced apples, citrus blossom and honeysuckle. Drink this elegant, beautifully pure white over the coming 2-3 years.
2015, DOMAINE CLOS DE SIXTE LIRAC 91 - 93/100
The 2015 Lirac "Domaine du Clos de Sixte" comes from an appellation that shares a similar terroir with Chateauneuf du Pape, yet is located just across the river, on the western side of the Rhône. It's a serious, large scaled, voluptuous effort that has lots of ripe tannin, a bid mid-palate and copious amounts of blackberries, blackcherries, scorched earth, licorice and roasted herbs. One of the bigger boned and concentrated reds in the lineup, it will have a decade of longevity.
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE "LES CHAMPAUVINS" 90-92/100
Deeper in color than the Cotes du Rhone Reserve, the 2015 Cotes du Rhone "Les Champauvins" is a solid step up, with fabulously complex notes of Bing cherry, blueberries, raspberries, spring flowers and pepper all emerging from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, rich and beautifully textured, it tastes more like a Châteauneuf du Pape than a Cotes du Rhone. Drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years.
2015, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE "BLANC DE VIOGNIER" 90/100
The outstanding 2015 Cotes du Rhone "Blanc de Viognier" is another killer value. Ample notes of tangerine, crushed rocks, flowers and crisp white peach soar from the glass of this layered, medium-bodied, classy and lengthy white that has both freshness and richness. Drink it over the coming year.
2015, RESERVE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE BLANC 90/100
A year in, year out value, the 2015 Cotes du Rhone Blanc Reserve is about as pretty, clean and gulpable as they come. Offering fabulous notes of white peach, pear and hints of white flowers, with medium-bodied richness and beautiful purity. It's a screaming value to drink over the coming year or so. Serious, it's good.
2015, CHATEAU MAZANE VACQUEYRAS 90-92/100
From a newly purchased estate in Vacqueyras, the Jaume 2015 Vacqueyras Chateau Mazane is similar to the Grande Garrigue, yet has a touch more concentration and purity, and a more focused, streamlined feel on the palate. Asian spices, pepper, lavender, plums and blackberry jam all emerge from this layered, gorgeous red that's packed with Southern Rhone charm. I prefer the sexiness of the Grande Garrigue a touch more, but both of these 2015 tank samples are beautiful.
2015, ALAIN JAUME VACQUEYRAS "GRANDE GARRIGUE" 90-92/100
The plump, sexy and fruit-loaded 2015 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue offers a smorgasbord of Provencal aromas and flavors, with notes of blackberry jam, peppered meats, toasted bread and Asian spice all jumping from the glass. Similar in style to the Cairanne, yet with additional tannic grip, this full-bodied, supple and polished beauty is another no-brainer value from this estate to snatch up.
2015, ALAIN JAUME GIGONDAS "TERRASSES DE MONTMIRAIL" 90-92/100
Another winner is the 2015 Gigondas "Terrasses de Montmirail". Coming from higher elevation sites and mostly limestone soils, its vibrant purple color is followed by beautiful spice, black raspberry, kirsch and dried flower-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, balanced and polished, with plenty of fruit yet also solid underlying ripe tannic structure, buy a case and enjoy bottles over the coming 7-8 years.
2015, ALAIN JAUME CAIRANNE "LES TRAVEES" 90-92/100
From a small appellation located to the north of Vacqueyras, the 2015 Cairanne Les Travées is a big, mouthful of a red and offers copious amounts of blackberries, kirsch, crushed rocks and dried flowers. Full-bodied, layered and downright sexy, with no hard edges and beautiful purity, this Provencal at its best !
2015, ALAIN JAUME RASTEAU " LES VALATS" 89-91/100
The 2015 Rasteau Les Valats is a big, rich, plum, licorice and scorched earth-scented red that has plenty of mid-palate flesh, building tannin and good freshness and focus. It has plenty of tannin, yet they're mostly covered by a wealth of fruit. It should drink nicely right out of the gate, yet keep for 8-10 years.
2015, ALAIN JAUME VENTOUX "LES GELINOTTES" 89/100
The estate makes a single release from the Ventoux appellation, wich is located on the eastern, southern border of the Southern Rhone. The 2015 Ventoux Les Gelinottes offers beautiful purity and freshness, with lots of sappy spring flowers and peppery characteristics intermixed with darker berry fruits, crushed rocks and licorice. Drink this incredibly polished, balanced and layered 2015 anytime over the coming 4-5 years. Like most of these 2015s from the Jaume Brother's, it's a killer value.
------ Millésime 2012 ------
Alain JAUME & Fils - Rhône Valley
millésime 2012 - RHONE sud
« Cultivant 16 hectares de Châteauneuf du Pape et plus de 70 hectares en Côtes du Rhône, Lirac et Vacqueyras, GRAND VENEUR est dirigé par les talentueux Alain, Sébastien et Christophe JAUME.
Le style des vins produits ici, en ayant un regard d’ensemble, est plutôt traditionnel avec beaucoup d’élevage en cuves béton et inox.
Cependant, les Châteauneuf du Pape sont d’un style plus moderne et sont élevés partiellement en fûts. Ils ne perdent jamais leur typicité « RHONE sud » car ils dégagent une superbe pureté et possèdent un excellent équilibre ce qui leur assure un beau profil de garde.
Les Châteauneuf du Papes « Grand Veneur » sont parmi les vins les plus excitants produits dans cette région et ils ne faut surtout pas passer à côté !
A noter que les blancs 2012 des frères JAUME sont incroyablement réussis. »
- Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck, Issue209, October 2013)
Alain JAUME & Fils – VENTOUX « Les Gélinottes » 2012
"A blend of even parts Grenache and Syrah that spent 8 months in concrete tank, the Alain Jaume 2012 Ventoux Les Gelinottes is a superb mid-week drinker that offers plenty of sweet berry fruit, garrigue and flowers in a charming, medium-bodied and easy-drinking package. Despite the easygoing feel, the purity here is top-notch and this is a solid effort. Drink now-2016. -JD"
Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 87pts
COTES DU RHONE « Réserve Grand Veneur» blanc 2012
"The outstanding Grand Veneur 2012 Cotes du Rhone Blanc Reserve (a blend of 50% Roussanne, 40% Viognier and 10% Clairette) may be the highest-quality dry white Rhone made at this price point. Abundant white peach, honeysuckle and spring flower aromas intermixed with a hint of apricot marmalade jump from the glass of this lovely, medium-bodied, crisp, fresh, pure yet intense and perfumed white wine. Drink it over the next year." 90+ pts - BEST BUY
COTES DU RHONE « Réserve Grand Veneur» rouge 2012
"Along the same lines, yet slightly richer, the Alain Jaume 2012 Cotes du Rhone Reserve gives up more dark fruit, graphite and earthy notes to go with a medium-bodied, rich and beautifully textured feel on the palate. It, too, should dish out plenty of pleasure over the coming couple of years and represents a superb value. Drink now-2017. -JD"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 89 pts
Alain JAUME & Fils – VACQUEYRAS « Grande Garrigue » 2012
"Representing a superb value, the Alain Jaume 2012 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a tank-aged blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. It exhibits gorgeous notes of black raspberry, ground herbs, violets and pepper, medium to full-bodied richness and an overall rich, layered personality. More than a little impressive, it should have a solid 7-8 years of longevity. Drink now-2020.- JD"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 89-92pts
Alain JAUME & Fils – GIGONDAS « Terrasses de Montmirail » 2012
"Along the same lines, the Alain Jaume 2012 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail is a mostly Grenache, with 20% Syrah, that’s aged 14 months in 20% barrels. Showing classic Gigondas spice, dried garrigue, saddle leather and blackberry and raspberry fruit, this medium to full-bodied Gigondas is loaded with Provencal character. Drink it over the coming 6-7 years. Drink now-2021. -JD"
- Wine Advocate (Issue#209, October 20131), 90-92 pts
Alain JAUME & Fils – LIRAC « Domaine du Clos de Sixte » 2011
"The same blend and elevage as the 2012, the 2011 Lirac “Clos de Sixte” offers up similar black cherry, leather and ground herb qualities as well as a medium-bodied, textured and easy-drinking profile on the palate. It scores high on drinkability and also offers solid complexity. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. Drink now-2019. -JD"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 90 pts
Alain JAUME & Fils – LIRAC « Domaine du Clos de Sixte » 2012
"Even richer, the Grand Veneur 2012 Lirac Clos de Sixte is comprised of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre that’s aged 16 months in 30% small barrels. It exhibits ripe, voluptuous notes of blackberry, licorice, underbrush and hints of minerality in a full-bodied, rich and textured profile. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years. Drink now-2022. -JD" - Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 90-92 pts
COTES DU RHONE, Grand Veneur « LES CHAMPAUVINS » 2012
"Tasting like a mini-Chateauneuf du Pape, with ripe mulled blackberries, spice, toast, licorice and hints of flowers, the Alain Jaume 2012 Cotes du Rhone Les Champauvins is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre that spent 12 months mostly in concrete tank. Medium to full-bodied, rich and balanced, it should drink nicely for 7-8 years. - Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 89-91 pts
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR blanc 2012
"The Grand Veneur 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc offers excellent mineral, white peach, flowers and citrus blossom in its beautifully focused, elegant personality. Showing both richness and freshness, it’s a superb Southern Rhone white to drink over the coming handful of years. JD"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 91 pts
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, GRAND VENEUR « La Fontaine » 2012
"Even better, and one of the top 2-3 whites in the vintage, the Grand Veneur 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape La Fontaine Blanc is an off-the-hook effort that gives up mineral-laced notions of citrus, rose petal, white peach and honey to go with a medium to full-bodied, rich, layered and brilliantly focused profile on the palate. It will stand up to any number of high end white burgundies and should not be missed! Drink now-2017. -JD"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 94pts
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR rouge 2011
"Looking at the 2011s, all of which are certainly solid in the vintage, the forward, up-front and nicely textured Grand Veneur 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape delivers loads of black raspberry, toast, licorice and spice-box to go with a medium-bodied, supple and polished feel on the palate. There’s not a whole lot of back-end depth here, and it should be consumed early in its life, but it’s perfectly balanced, has loads of character and is hard to resist. While delicious now, it should hit prime time in another 2-3 years and evolve gracefully through 2021. - Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 90 pts
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR rouge 2012
"Starting off the Chateauneufs and a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre that spent 14 months in 30% small barrels, the Grand Veneur 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape offers fabulous notes of spring flowers, garrigue, spice-box and sweet blackberry styled fruit characteristics. Medium to full-bodied, with a textured, elegant feel, it has superb purity of fruit, good acidity and a nicely focused finish. Drink it over the coming decade.
- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 90-92 pts
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, GRAND VENEUR « Les Origines » 2012
Made from 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah (from 45 to 95-year-old vines) that was aged half in smaller barrels, the Grand Veneur 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines offers up a knockout bouquet of black raspberry, toast, spice box and graphite. Full-bodied, layered and seamless, with sweet tannin, it should drink well for 15-20 years. Drink 2015-2027.-JD"- Wine Advocate (Issue #209, October 2013), 92-94 pts
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, GRAND VENEUR « Vieilles Vignes » 2012
"Even more impressive and certainly one of the top 3-4 wines in the vintage, the Grand Veneur 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes offers up spectacular density and depth, with big structure, chewy tannin and brilliant purity of fruit. A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah, it offers loads of blackberry, licorice, roasted meats, bouquet garni and pepper to go with a full-bodied, layered and perfectly proportioned profile.
It too will have 15-20 years of longevity. Drink 2015-2032. "
- Wine Advocate (issue#209, October 2013), 94-97 pts
------ Millésime 2010 / 2011 ------
Alain JAUME & Fils - Rhône Valley
“With impressive holdings in the northern sector of Chateauneuf du Pape as well as an ever expanding, high quality negociant business, brothers Christophe and Sebastien JAUME have taken this estate, established in 1826, to new heights. The estate wines, which are sold under the Domaine Grand Veneur label, are classic, quasi-modern-styled Chateauneuf du Papes that represent brilliant examples of their impeccable viticulture and winemaking. Interestingly, all three cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape were produced in 2011. That decision appears to be justified by the quality of what I tasted as well as their potential for extended maturity beyond a decade.
The 2010 GRAND VENEUR estate wines, especially the Chateauneuf du Papes, are brilliant.”
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR « Vieilles Vignes » 2010 : 100/100
- A monumental effort meriting a perfect score, the super-rich 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 4,000-bottle blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from 55- to 105-year-old vines and was aged for 18 months in small oak. The wine offers majestic blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with kirsch, licorice and subtle Provencal herbs in the background. It is akin to chewing meat in the mouth given its viscosity and thickness. This utterly amazing wine comes close to being over the top, but it pulls back just in time. A massive Chateauneuf du Pape (even for a 2010), it needs 5-6 years of cellaring and should age effortlessly for 25-30 years. Bravo! »
- The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes” is the most concentrated and potentially long-lived of this 2011 trio. It came in at an amazing 15.5% natural alcohol, and is one of the wines of the vintage. A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah aged in small barrels, it blows away just about every other Chateauneuf in this vintage. It boasts an inky/purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of crushed rocks, jammy black fruits, charcoal and graphite. This intense, full-bodied 2011's concentration and power are atypical for this vintage. It should age nicely for 15 or more years.
Grand Veneur « Les Origines » 2010 : 95/100
- Another blockbuster is the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape “Les Origines”. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre (45- to-95-year-old vines) aged in small oak, it exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of blackberries, espresso roast, ink and graphite. While clearly a modern-styled Chateauneuf du Pape, it retains plenty of the region's typicity and authenticity. It should drink well for 15+ years.
- The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape “Les Origines” is composed of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre from 70-year-old vines and aged in new oak. The oak component exercises only a subtle influence on the overall personality of this wine. It exhibits significant creme de cassis, kirsch, blackberry and licorice notes along with a touch of vanillin. Full-bodied, but also accessible, plump and succulent, it can be drunk early in life or cellared for 10-12 years.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR 2010 : 93/100
- The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre) is an opaque purple-colored beauty revealing lots of creme de cassis, black raspberry, licorice and camphor notes. Sexy and full-throttle as well as supple and more evolved than many 2010 Chateauneufs, it can be enjoyed now and over the next 10-12 years.93
- The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre from 70-year-old vines aged in barrel. It offers plenty of black cherry, licorice, spice box and garrigue characteristics in a full-bodied, surprisingly deep (for a 2011) style. It should drink well for at least a decade.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR « La Fontaine » 2011 : 95/100
This is one of those rare cases where the 2011 is even better than the 2010.
The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc “La Fontaine” exhibits plenty of honey, floral (especially rose petals), marmalade and tangerine skin characteristics in a full-bodied, rich, pure, well-structured and delineated style. Drink : 3-4 years.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR blanc 2011 : 92/100
As for the Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, the 2011 (60% Clairette and 40% Roussanne) reveals copious aromas of honeysuckle, white flowers, quince and white currants in a delicious, medium to full-bodied style. This lively, crisp beauty should be enjoyed over the next several years.
Alain JAUME & Fils, LIRAC « Clos de Sixte » 2010 : 92/100
- In addition to these gorgeous Chateauneuf du Papes, Domaine Grand Veneur's 2010 Lirac Clos de Sixte is outstanding. It is a full-bodied, rich, textural wine with abundant blue and black fruits interwoven with garrigue and licorice. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.
- Also from the Domaine Grand Veneur, the 2011 Lirac Clos de Sixte is a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre that reveals some potential. Deep, dusty, loamy soil notes intermixed with crushed rocks, spring flowers, red and black cherries are all present in this lush Lirac. Enjoy it over the next 5-6 years.
Alain JAUME & Fils, COTES DU RHONE
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR « Les Champauvins » 2010 : 92/100
- The single-vineyard Cotes du Rhone, the 2010 Les Champauvins, is a smaller cuvee made largely from Grenache (70%) and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre. This is the poor person’s Chateauneuf du Pape, with notes of garrigue, lavender, black cherry jam, licorice, and a hint of blacker fruits. Rich, full-bodied, ripe, with sweet tannin and lots of concentration, this is a beauty to drink over the next 8-10 years – it is that rich and concentrated.
- The estate's finest Cotes du Rhone is the 2011 Les Champauvins. It is a more seriously endowed, bigger, richer, more intriguing effort than the other Cotes du Rhones.
Alain JAUME & Fils, RASTEAU “Les Valats” 2011 : (88-90)
The 2011 Rasteau “Les Valats” exhibits a deep ruby/purple color as well as Grenache's ripe, smoky, chocolaty characteristics, a full-bodied texture and noticeable structure and tannin. Therefore, it will not be as drinkable early on as the Cotes du Rhone cuvees.
Alain JAUME & Fils, GIGONDAS « Terrasses de Montmirail » 2010 : 91+/100
Other Alain Jaume 2010s include the brilliant 2010 Gigondas “Terrasses de Montmirail”. It exhibits copious notes of black currants, crushed rocks and spring flowers along with good minerality and depth in its full-bodied, ripe style. This sensational Gigondas will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and keep for up to 15 years.
Alain JAUME & Fils, VACQUEYRAS « Grande Garrigue » 2010 : 92/100
- The brilliant 2010 Vacqueyras “Grande Garrigue” is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 10% Cinsault (an unusual combination for Vacqueyras). The wine reveals plenty of licorice, camphor, black currant, kirsch and bouquet garni characteristics in a meaty, full-bodied, dense, lusty style. It will benefit from several years of cellaring and should keep for 12+ years. It is a sleeper of the vintage.
- The 2011 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue possesses plenty of Provencal herb, pepper, lavender and meaty notes intermixed with sweet kirsch and blacker fruits.
Alain JAUME & Fils, Côtes du Rhône « Blanc de Viognier » 2011 : 88/100
Another winner is their 100% Viognier cuvee, the 2011 Cotes du Rhone “Blanc de Viognier.” They do as good a job with Viognier in the south as one can expect, and while this wine is slightly less exotic than its two predecessors were in their respective vintages, it has slightly more wet rock and a steely character. Still, the floral notes are there, along with that tell-tale Viognier give-away, hints of white peach and apricots. It is fresh, medium-bodied, slightly lighter than the 2010 or 2009, as well as less exotic, but very, very good. Drink it over the next year.
Alain JAUME & Fils, Côtes du Rhône « Réserve Grand Veneur » 2011 : 86/100
The 2011 Cotes du Rhone Reserve, which reveals slightly more pepper, meat and herb notes presented in a bigger framework, should be consumed in the next 1-2 years.
Alain JAUME & Fils, Côtes du Rhône rosé « Réserve» 2011 : 90/100
An absolutely brilliant wine is their 2011 Cotes du Rhone Rose Reserve, a blend of 60% Grenache and the rest equal parts Syrah and Cinsault. Notes of Provencal herbs and vivid strawberry jam intermixed with some kirsch are all present in this surprisingly full-bodied yet lively, ethereal rose that is about as strong an effort in the rose wine market as one can find for under $15 a bottle.
Alain JAUME & Fils, Côtes du Rhône blanc « Réserve» 2011 : 88/100
The 2011 Cotes du Rhone Blanc Reserve, which is a blend of 50% Roussanne, 40% Viognier and 10% Clairette aged in tank, is just delicious. Elegant floral notes are followed by hints of white peach, apricot jam and honeysuckle. Crisp, fresh, medium-bodied and very lively, it even displays a hint of minerality, which gives zestiness and vibrancy to this wine.88
------ Vintage 2010 ------
Alain JAUME & Fils
“Credit Christophe and Sebastien JAUME for making this one of the most impeccably run estates in the Rhone Valley. To reiterate, this is an estate at the top of its game and the wines remain fairly priced as well…”
2010 Alain Jaume, Gigondas « Terrasses de Montmirail » 90-92
The cooler climate, fresh 2010 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail possesses abundant blueberry, red and black currant, crushed rock and floral notes. Both of these wines should last for 10-12+ years given the concentration and freshness of the vintage.
2010 Alain Jaume, Vacqueyras « Grande Garrigue » 90-92
Under their negociant line of wines (called Alain Jaume), the 2010 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a classic Vacqueyras with lots of dense, concentrated, black cherry and plum fruit intermixed with hints of garrigue and licorice, a full-bodied mouthfeel.
2010 Reserve Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone red 91
As for their other values, the 2010 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault) displays loads of ripe flavors. It is very concentrated for a Cotes du Rhone, and is actually an amazing wine. Classic garrigue, black cherry liqueur, lavender, licorice and spice box are all present in this full-bodied, intense, and rich Cotes du Rhone that sells for a song. This is a sensational effort to drink over the next 4-5 years, although it might last even longer.
2010 Alain Jaume, Rasteau « Les Valats » 87-90
The masculine, rustic-styled 2010 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Rasteau Les Valats exhibits a more earthy, chocolaty, roasted, spicy, peppery character.
2010 Domaine Grand Veneur, Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge « Les Champauvins » 89-91
The gorgeous 2010 Cotes du Rhone Les Champauvins possesses lots of kirsch, pepper and lavender notes, sweet tannin, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and good focus as well as length. It is fresher and livelier than the lovely 2009 recommended several issues ago.
2010 Domaine Grand Veneur, Clos de Sixte, Lirac Rouge 90-92
Along with Domaine de la Mordoree, the Jaumes produce one of the finest wines of Lirac. The 2010 Clos de Sixte Lirac should compete with the brilliant 2009. Black currant, spring flower, licorice and crushed rock aromas jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored, full-bodied, beautifully pure, textured and dense Lirac. It should drink well for at least a decade.
2010 Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 90-93
The tight, fresh, lively 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape needs 3-4 years of cellaring (unusual for this cuvee made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre). A youthful bouquet of black currants, black cherries, licorice, ink and spice box emerges from this full-bodied, young, primary red. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.
2010 Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge « Les Origines » 94-96
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines is nearly off the charts in terms of concentration. It is a less sexy, flamboyant effort compared to the 2009, but it is noble, reserved and pure with plenty of black and blue fruit notes intermixed with subtle garrigue, graphite and spice box characteristics. Full and rich with high tannins, good acidity and a style built for the long term, this 2010 will benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring, and keep for at least 20-25 years.
2010 Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge « Vieilles Vignes » 95-99
Possessing compelling richness, the awesome, packed and stacked, inky purple-colored 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes possesses remarkable intensity of blackberry and blueberry fruit intertwined with camphor, lavender, licorice and truffle notes. Sensational richness and intensity make this one of the most concentrated, long-lived wines of the appellation.
2009 Alain Jaume, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge « Vieux Terron » 89
The tasty 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieux Terron offers good freshness and elegance along with lots of berry fruit intermixed with pepper, herb and licorice characteristics. This medium to full-bodied Chateauneuf is meant to be consumed during its first 7-8 years of life.
2009 Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 92
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape (a 3,500-case blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre from nearly 70 year old vines) exhibits abundant notes of sweet cassis, licorice, kirsch, garrigue and tobacco leaf in a full-bodied, layered, opulently textured style. This hedonistic turn-on should continue to drink well for a decade or more.
2009 Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge « Les Origines » 95
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines (1,500 cases produced) is a blend of 50% Grenache, a whopping 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah with the latter two components spending time in new oak barrels. All of the fruit comes from vines that are nearly 70 years of age. A great wine with an opaque ruby/purple color, sensational fruit intensity and notes of graphite, lavender, licorice, lead pencil shavings and subtle smoke, it is full-bodied, rich and powerful with low acidity and sweet, velvety tannins. It should drink well for 15+ years.
2009 Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge « Vieilles Vignes » 96
The most limited cuvee (350 cases) is the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from 50-100 year old vines located in the northern sector of the appellation). Its opaque purple color is accompanied by a gorgeous perfume of graphite, truffles, damp earth, cassis, kirsch, licorice and spice box. Despite the fact that it sees a lot of new oak, it reveals no evidence of wood. The fruit dominates in this quintessential, classic, full-bodied, powerful, massive as well as surprisingly pure and elegant Chateauneuf du Pape. Unlike most examples, the precociousness and suppleness of the 2009 vintage have given this wine a more forward appeal, although it still needs 2-3 years of cellaring. Drink it over the following 25-30 years.
------ Vintage 2009 ------
Alain JAUME & FilS
Domaine Grand Veneur's estate vineyards have been managed brilliantly and many exceptional wines as well as wine values have been produced by the two Jaume brothers, Sebastien and Christophe. Furthermore, by establishing a negociant operation under the name Alain Jaume, they have done nothing but enhance their reputation throughout the southern Rhone. With respect to the estate bottled Chateauneuf du Papes, the Jaumes own nearly 40 acres of vines, all situated at the very northern end of the appellation, in the direction of Orange.
Two of the finest white Chateauneuf du Papes of the appellation are made at Grand Veneur. As my value picks in issue #190 indicated, their entire white wine program merits serious consideration.
(Robert Parker, October 31st 2010.)
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE red « Vieilles Vignes » 2009 (93-95)
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes” (a cuvee that was first made in 2006) is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah, all aged in new oak casks. Despite all the new oak, its influence is marginal. Some toasty notes are present, but the wine is very full-bodied with extraordinarily intense aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, kirsch, lavender, licorice and hints of lead pencil shavings and smoke. Dense, full-bodied, tannic and super intense, this is a massive 2009 that begs for 4-5 years of cellaring. It should drink well for 20-25 years thereafter.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE red « Les Origines » 2009 (92-95)
The beautiful 2009 Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape “Les Origines” (a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah aged in small barrels) offers notes of graphite, camphor, blackberries, creme de cassis, Provencal herbs and lavender. It is nearly as good as the brilliant 2007. Full-bodied and rich with nicely integrated tannins, acidity and wood, the 2009 will benefit from several years of bottle age and should evolve for 20 or more years.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE red 2009 (91-93)
The 2009 Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape (made from the same blend as the 2008 - 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre) exhibits an inky/plum/purple color along with an impressive bouquet of Asian hoisin sauce, blackberries, black currants, sweet cherries, licorice and camphor. It is a dense, full-bodied, rich, heady wine with silky tannins, low acidity and abundant glycerin. Drink it over the next decade or more.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE white 2009 – (91)
The 2009 Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape blanc, a blend of 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Grenache blanc aged in stainless steel, exhibits lots of tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple intermixed with honeysuckle, crushed rocks and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, pure and lively, it is best drunk over the next year.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE white « La Fontaine » 2009 (94)
The 100% Roussanne cuvee, the expensive but very white Burgundy-like 2009 Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape “La Fontaine” blanc comes from 70+-year-old Roussanne vines and is aged 6-8 months in 600-liter demi-muids. It exhibits intense aromas of flowers, honeysuckle, candle wax, rose water, orange marmalade and apricots. Full-bodied with great acidity, the wood is pushed way to the background.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE white « La Fontaine » 2008 (92)
The 2008 GRAND VENEUR La Fontaine is also superb. Although slightly less powerful than the 2009, it is very similar. While these wines have the potential to drink well for a decade, I would recommend consuming them in the first 2-3 years of life.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR LIRAC “Clos de Sixte” red 2009 – (93)
A prodigious effort ; the 2009 Lirac “Clos de Sixte”. This dense purple-colored wine offers up notes of black truffles, charcoal, blackberries, kirsch, garrigue, new saddle leather, herbs de Provence, spice box, and smoke. It possesses great fruit, full-bodied power, excellent depth, and abundant silky tannins. Drink it over the next 6-8 years.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE red « Les Champauvins » 2009 (90+)
The outstanding, silky, pure 2009 Cotes du Rhone « Les Champauvins » represents a baby Chateauneuf du Pape. Composed of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre, it reveals a deep ruby/plum color in addition to full-bodied flavors, light tannin, and lavender, truffle, black currant, and black cherry aromas.
DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE white “Blanc de Viognier” 2009 (90)
The 2009 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Blanc de Viognier and 2009 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve blanc are both terrific examples of white southern Rhones.
RESERVE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE white 2009 (89)
The 2009 Cotes du Rhone blanc (40% Viognier, 40% Roussanne, and 20% Clairette) exhibits notes of white flowers intermixed with a crystalline minerality, light to medium body, and attractive freshness. It falls off quickly on the palate, so it is best drunk over the next 6-12 months
RESERVE GRAND VENEUR COTES DU RHONE red 2009 (87)
The 2009 Cotes du Rhone Reserve (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault) exhibits a leafy/garrigue/Provencal character intermixed with raspberry and black cherry fruit. The sweetness of the tannins, plump, medium-bodied style, and touch of pepper result in a classic Cotes du Rhone to drink over the next several years.
ALAIN JAUME VENTOUX “Les Gélinottes” red 2009 (89)The Alain Jaume 2009 Cotes du Ventoux Les Gelinottes is a steal. A delicious, super-seductive blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah aged in stainless steel, it possesses silky tannins, abundant kirsch and blackberry fruit, a succulent, juicy mid-palate, and a luscious finish. This is Provencal seduction at its best. Drink it over the next 1-2 years.
ALAIN JAUME VACQUEYRAS « Grande Garrigue » red 2009 (92)
The 2009 Alain Jaume Vacqueyras “Grande Garrigue” is much more backward, displaying a denser blue/purple color, thicker, richer blue and black fruits, and hints of kirsch, lavender, and garrigue. Still grapy and unformed, but loaded with potential given its depth of concentration and richness, it will benefit from another 2-3 months of bottle age, and keep for 5-8 years.
------ Millésime 2005 / 2006 ------
Alain JAUME & FilS
These two brilliant vintages for ALAIN JAUME continue an almost unbroken record of highly successful wines that goes back well over a decade (and they are still fairly priced). This is definitely a modernist take on Chateauneuf du Pape, but the wines never lose the soul and typicity of Provence. They are impeccably well-made, pure, and deeply colored.
Côtes du Ventoux, ALAIN JAUME "Les Gélinottes" 2006 : 87/100
Some very good values under the negociant label include the Alain Jaume 2006 Cotes du Ventoux Les Gelinottes. This is a classic French vin de plaisir. Soft, lovely, not complex, but with medium body and loads of fruit, this is a pretty example of a wine meant for drinking, not introspection.
Côtes du Rhône, Alain JAUME "Haut de Brun" 2006 : 88/100
Cut from the same style as the Cotes du Ventoux "Les Gelinottes" but with more spice, pepper, and garrigue, the dark ruby, medium-bodied 2006 Cotes du Rhone Reserve shows sweet kirsch fruit, an endearing texture, and no hardness in a style that begs for consumption over the next 2-3 years.
Rasteau, ALAIN JAUME "Les Valats" 2005 : 88-90/100
The 2005 Rasteau Les Valats shows a tell-tale dense, chocolatey character that seems to be a characteristic of the sun-baked Grenache from this appellation. It is full-bodied, dense, chewy, and a big, rustic mouthful of wine but with more finesse than many Rasteaus. It should drink well for 5-7 years.
Vacqueyras, ALAIN JAUME "Grande Garrigue" 2006 : 87-89/100
The 2006 Vacqueyras "Grande Garrigue"was ripe and showed gorgeous layers of sweet jammy black cherry and currant fruit intermixed with pepper, earth, and spice. The wine is attractive, lush, and a very good example of this underrated appellation.
Gigondas, ALAIN JAUME "Terrasses de Montmirail" 2005 : 89/100
Very impressive was the 2005 Gigondas Terrasse de Montmirail. Most estate bottlers would be happy to produce Gigondas this good, and this of course is a negociant blend. This is serious wine with the cool climate of Gigondas well-expressed in the blueberry and crushed rock elements as well as the suave, linear style of the wine. Pure, deep, medium-bodied, and elegant, this wine should drink nicely for 10+ years.
Lirac, Roquedon 2005 : 90/100 ; ( 2006 : 88-90/100)
The outstanding 2005 Lirac Clos de Sixte is one of Jaume’s best selections and continues to be a star as well as a sleeper selection in 2005. A wine of considerable intensity, with a deep ruby/purple color, hints of blueberries, white flowers, some sweet cherry and chocolate, smoke, and earth, this is a full-bodied, intense wine that can be drunk now or cellared for up to a decade.
Tannin, minerality, and structure are found in the Lirac Clos de Sixte. I actually think the 2006 is more charming than the 2005. It is a very good example, with structuralists preferring the 2005, and hedonists preferring the 2006. Take your pick.
Châteauneuf du Pape, ALAIN JAUME "Vieux Terron" red 2006 : 90-92/100
The 2006 ALAIN JAUME "Vieux Terron" possesses outstanding potential, with deep, sweet plum, fig, and black cherry fruit intermixed with some loamy soil scents, seaweed, and spice. It is lovely, up-front, medium to full-bodied, lush, and ideal for drinking over the next 10-12 years.