CÔTES DU RHÔNE
2019 Lieu-Dit Clavin Domaine de la Vieille Julienne
|Grapes||Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault|
2019 Cotes du Rhone Lieu-Dit Clavin, is from the northern most sector of the estate and falls just outside the Chateauneuf appellation boundary, not that any less care is taken in the winenaking process. 3 months in concrete, 18 months in foudre and another year in bottle before release, gives you a good indication of the high regard winemaker Jean-Paul Daumen has for the fruit that makes these Cotes du Rhone. The average age of the vineyards scattered around the estate is 80-100 years old, extraordinary value when you consider the price. The blend is as you would expect, Grenache dominant, but you get a real sense of southern Rhone Syrah spice in the wine too, 65% Grenache 15%Syrah, the balance being Cinsault, Mourvedre & Cournoise. 'red fruits in abundance, licquorice and white pepper spice, a lovely feel to this, pure and very elegant, a lively juicy core of bramble fruits, all bound together skillfully with soft ripe tannis, hard to believe this is a humble Cotes du Rhone, this is a delight now but will easily repay a patient Rhone lover who can resist and come back in 8-10 years, sadly I am not one of those and won't be able to resist over the next 3-5 years' Organic & Biodynamic farming. L&S (Sep 2021)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Moving to the 2019s from bottle, the Côtes Du Rhône Lieu-Dit Clavin always shows the style of this estate as well as the vintage, and the 2019 is well worth seeking out. Black cherries, gravelly earth, spicy herbs, and violet notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, floral, seamless Côtes du Rhône that does everything right. Rating: 91 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Nov 2021)
Domaine de la Vieille Julienne
Under the guidance of Jean-Paul Daumen, this estate on the very northern borders of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation is now considered to be one of the leading domaines. One of the first estates to convert to biodynamic practises when Jean-Paul took over from his father in 1990, the 22 hectares of vineyards are nearly all north facing, giving relieve from the hot summer days and lending the wines the all important freshness. Attention to detail is everything here, with some very old plots of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault & Carignan and a wine making style more at home in Burgundy, it is clear to see why it is held in such high regard by journalists, Rhône enthusiasts, sommeliers and restaurateurs around the world.
Trois Sources is from sand based vineyards on the lower banks of the estate and are the more approachable when young, whilst the Les Hauts Lieux come from the limestone dominated higher vineyards on the northern boundary of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and need more time to come around. In great years a Reserve wine is made in miniscule quantities from ancient Grenache vineyards. Our recent visit in July to taste the 2019’s justifiably confirmed our excitement to be working with and shipping from Vieille Julienne; these are deeply coloured, pure and aromatic but with incredible freshness - you can buy these confident that they will richly reward patience over the next 8-15 years. They also produce an utterly brilliant Côtes du Rhône called Lieu-dit Clavin, possible the best value Côtes du Rhône in the entire Rhône Valley.
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