Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, Le Grès, Orange
Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, Le Grès, Orange
Jean-Paul Daumen has taken this fabulous estate from very humble beginnings to its current position firmly planted amongst the very top tier of elite Rhône producers and beyond.
Situated in the northern sector of the appellation, in the area known Le Grès, Jean-Paul owns and runs 32 hectares of vines in total of which ten are in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and five in Côtes du Rhône – the vines here are old and gnarly (between 50 and 90 years old) with the balance of his holdings being Vin de Pays (It was one of the first estates to convert to biodynamic practises when Jean-Paul took over from his father in 1990). The north-facing vineyards make the most of the diurnal variation between the hot days and cool nights, the resultant grapes at harvest time always tend to be nicely balanced and, even in very hot years, avoid jamminess. Yields are tiny, around 20 hectolitres per hectare, and almost the entire crop is de-stemmed and, somewhat unusually for this area, the grape varieties are vinified separately with assemblage being carried out post fermentation. Selection is rigorous and no sulphur is used during the vinification process. The wines are fermented for around a month and remontage is performed four times each day. After elevage, in a combination of tank and barrel (no new oak) the wines are bottled without fining or filtration.
What is the secret to his success, apart from some very old plots of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault & Carignan? Perhaps his more ‘Burgundian’ style of winemaking helps? Really, most of it are the same factors that usually separate the great from the good; hard work, attention to detail and being absolutely ruthless when is comes to selection, anything that falls short of his high standards is rejected; memorably, in 2002, this meant most of the grapes (so he must have an understanding bank manager).
These are compelling wines from two great vintages and are ready to drink.
Price is GBP per case under bond as indicated, all wines offered subject to remaining unsold.
2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Offer price £425, List price £495 per case 12x75cl occ
A Grenache based blend, quite beefy when young but any awkwardness will have gone by now and this will be a glorious glass of wine, especially with some heartier meals.
Starting with the 2009, it is a beautiful Chateauneuf du Pape that shows surprising elegance and polish in the vintage. Black cherries, licorice, violets and ample underbrush aromas and flavors show in this full-bodied, seriously textured effort. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more. The Wine Advocate RP 93 Reviewed by: Jeb Dunnuck Drink Date: 2014 – 2024
2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Les Trois Sources” – £595 per case 12x75cl occ
There are 60 bottles of this gorgeous wine available. Grenache 70%, Syrah 10%, Counoise 5%, Cinsault 5%, Mourvèdres 5% Rendement – 22 hectolitres per hectare. This was an outstanding wine when a new born pup and I have no doubt at all that any lucky consumer will be absolutely blown away by its intrinsic quality and depth of flavour now that it is ready to drink.
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Trois Sources comes from the estate’s vineyards planted in sandy soils. About 10,000 bottles have been produced. One of the great wines of the vintage, this unbelievable Chateauneuf is still extremely young and primary. Its opaque purple color is followed by scents of ink, acacia flowers, blueberries, black raspberries and blackberries. While full-bodied, extremely concentrated and massive, the wine is totally harmonious with beautifully integrated acidity, tannin and alcohol (which is no doubt in excess of 16%). Give this 2010 five more years of cellaring and drink it over the following 20-25 years. Drink 2012 – 2037 96pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate # 203 (Oct 2012)
2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Réservé” – Offer price £1895, List price £1950 per 12 x 75cl owc
This stunning, mature “Reserve” is significantly cheaper than the estate more recent releases, a bargain really… Made from Grenache 90%, Syrah et Cinsault 10%. 14 hectolitres per hectare Jean-Paul’s legendary “Réservé” comes from selected parcels in the les Trois Source vineyard and it shares some of the same characteristics, including the sense of elegance that underlies this profound wine. Only tiny amounts are ever made – just 500 cases of 2009 Réserve, for example; as a comparison Lafite produces approximately 30,000 cases, Petrus in the region of 3000 and it’s about half the production of DRC’s famous La Tâche vineyard. Unless one has tasted “Réserve” de Vieille Julienne it is hard to imagine the depth and complexity of this wine.
Rock-star stuff that could merit a tripe digit score sometime in the future, the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve knocks it out of the park with its massive, decadent, ripe and concentrated profile. Showing plenty of cassis, spring flowers, mint, licorice and ground herbs, it’s a hedonistic and blockbuster-styled effort that will drink well for two decades. The Wine Advocate RP 97+ Reviewed by: Jeb Dunnuck Drink Date: 2014 – 2034