|Grapes||Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah|
|Origin||France, Vin de France|
One of Charles’ new finds in the Rhône valley, from a relatively unknown and very small producer in Châteaneuf (although they do make it into Bob Parker’s Wine Advocate), ’Le Petit Roy’ is simply a Vin de France because it is made up of eveything that does not make it into the Châteaneuf cuvées, and as such carries no vintage on the label, only ’11eme année’ which is a clue I guess. It is deceptively easy to drink, packed with ripe peppery fruit and a lovely, almost old-fashioned, ‘liquidity’, making it so very gluggable. In fact it was only having finished the bottle and looking over the rather quaint and old-fashioned label that I noticed that it is 14.5%. This really is streets ahead of the mass produced super-market Châteaneufs, and I will be drinking this rather a lot over the coming barbeque season. It makes you sleep very soundly too! L&S (Apr 2012)
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Chateauneuf du Pape in everything but name and a truly happy wine.Liz Sagues, Hampstead & Highgate Express (Dec 2012)
Labelled onzième année rather than 2011. Châteauneuf blend from various parcels. Sweet cherry fruit, then more spice and depth on the palate. Like a really good Côtes du Rhône with firm tannins and fresh acidity. Dry finish needs time to round out. A little lacking in flesh. 2013-2018 Rating: 16 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Nov 2012)
It may say "Vin de France" on the label, but this is effectively Châteauneuf-du-Pape, made as it is from the fruit that doesn't quite make it into Domaine Jean Royer's Châteauneuf blends. What appealed most to us here was the wine's drinkability, not always a quality you associate with some of the modern bruisers you get in the region these days. It has a lovely sappy-succulent character that helps the plump, polished, slightly spicy fruit slip down just beautifully. Rating: 90 The Wine Gang - www.thewinegang.com (Oct 2012)
Domaine Jean Royer
Jean-Marie Royer inherited his vines in 1985 and set about improving the grape varietal mix and the vinification from then. Since more than half of the domaine is in unclassified 'Vin de Table' or 'Côtes du Rhône', he has developed a marque 'Le Petit Roy' sold as 'Vin de Table' for everything that does not make it into the Châteauneuf cuvées. The Petit Roy has been a big hit in the shops.
His Châteauneufs are just gorgeous, and in the context of some of the Parkerised dottiness going on, offer refreshingly fantastic value for money. He has undoubtedly been much helped by his close friend the star oenologist Philippe Cambié, who he went to school with and also played rugby with for many years. Cambié is more famous for a full-on rather extracted style, but Jean-Marie has imposed his own, fresher, brighter style on all his wines, which are crunchy and well-defined.
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