|Grapes||Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette|
Vieille Julienne's much under appreciated and under the radar white Cotes du Rhone Lieu-Dit Clavin hails from a tiny 1.5ha plot on the very north of the vineyard and from the steepest plot, mixing marlstone and limestone soils which are very much evident in the wines. A blend of different classic Rhone varities that average some 65 years, 40% Grenache 30% Clairette 15% Bourblenc and the balance made up of Marsanne, Rossanne & Viognier. The 2020 has more texture than the 2019, a slightly longer cold soak perhaps, but has a lovely feel to it, stainless steel fermentation brings fresh bright notes, hawthhorn blossom, zippy fresh citrus notes and kept in play by just enough acidity to bring the minerality into balance, this puts many leading white Chateauneufs into context when you consider the price quality ratio and will give white Rhone lovers a real smile. L&S (Sep 2021)
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Based largely on Marsanne, with some Viognier as well, the 2020 Côtes Du Rhône Clavin Blanc comes from vines around the estate, just across the road from Châteauneuf du Pape. White peach, tangerine, and spice notes give way to a medium-bodied, clean, balanced white that brings solid richness and depth while staying fresh and lively. 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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