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SommSelect: Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, les Trois Sources Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône Valley, France 2011 - SommSelect

$52

Buy 2 and we‘ll include shipping.*


Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, les Trois Sources Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône Valley, France 2011


Great Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a true testament to the old adage that the sum is greater than its parts. Unlike its counterpart in the northern Rhône, which focuses predominantly on pure varietal Syrah, wines from the the southern Rhône’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape are allowed to be blended with many grapes—typically leading with Grenache—to produce one of the world’s most opulent and luxurious blends. It is personally one of my favorite red wines in the world and this particular example is an absolute classic.


Châteauneuf-du-Pape, translating to, “new castle of the Pope,” takes its name from a period in the fourteenth century when the Pope relocated his court to Avignon, which is just fifteen minutes away. In this charmed locale, the weather turns sunny, the air is infused with herbs and lavender, and the climate is comparatively Mediterranean. Although the land is particularly sandier and arid, large, round river rocks that were a product of prehistoric alpine glaciers are scattered amongst the vines and function to retain moisture and ripen the grapes. The mistral, a strong wind that howls down the valley, seasonally cools down the valley and retains acidity as well as protects the grapes from humidity and mold. All of these factors coalesce to deliver a wine that is terroir-driven, packed with luscious fruit and balanced with excellent acidity. Nowhere on earth does a wine of this flavor profile and complexity exist but here in the Southern Rhône; further, of all the appellations in the southern portion of Rhône, the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are the most sought after and celebrated. Today’s offer, the Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, is a wine of particular grace, elegance and ample energy. Although many of the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are incredible, this particular winery takes extra care to produce a product superior to many of its neighbors.       

Over the past few decades, Domaine de la Vieille Julienne has garnered a reputation as one of the truly superb producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I was fortunate enough to sit down to a meal with the man responsible for this success recently. The proprietor and winemaker, Jean-Paul Daumen, honored me by sharing the storied history of his family’s property as well as why he believes these wines stand apart from so many others in the appellation.   

Founded in 1905, Domaine de la Vieille began bottling their own wine in the late 1960’s under the direction of Jean-Paul’s father, Maxine. By 1990, the Domaine was a formidable name in the world of Châteauneuf-du-Pape when Jean-Paul joined the family business. Under his guidance, their wine would reach only further prominence with astute decisions that would usher the Domaine into the 21st century. Jean-Paul initiated a change in viticulture that would eliminate farming with chemicals, herbicides and pesticides; then, he took the courageous step to farm biodynamically. Although expensive to execute and even more complicated to expound upon, this process involves, but is not limited to, balancing the farm’s ecosystem through totally natural means in an effort to elevate nutrition, quality and flavor in the crop. I would personally like to add that the best wines I have had the pleasure of experiencing in my life have been farmed biodynamically (Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti).  When the natural health and balance of a vineyard is achieved, the potential energy of that particular place can reach its purest expression where all organisms are teeming, living in balance as nature intended. I would conclude in saying that not all biodynamic wines are great; there are multiple variables contributing to the final product. However, I have witnessed the success when the best sites of the world are farmed with this approach; the result is indescribably transcendental.       

In addition, Jean-Paul’s team focuses on low yields for ideal fruit and concentration of flavor, hand harvests and sorts the grapes twice for absolute perfection in the glass. His wine is aged in large neutral foudres (massive oak barrels), which allows the terroir to speak for itself.  He bottles without fining or filtration and delivers a product that is one of the truest expressions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the world.  

The particular wine I have the honor of offering you is the Vieille Julienne ‘les Trois Sources,’ which is derived from three plots, all of which are north facing and adjacent to the winery. The north-facing slope provides protection from the fierce summer sun as well as the howling winds of the mistral, which creates slow, steady sugar development, ample phenolic (flavor) ripeness and excellent retention of acidity at harvest.

This wine has an opaque, dark ruby core, moving to a garnet rim in the glass, the aromatics match the sight with ripeness and power yet perfectly lifted with fresh fruit and whimsical florals. As the wine opens up, crème de cassis, dried red currants, freshly picked strawberry, underbrush, wild herbs, purple flowers and hints of black olive bounce out of the glass. The palate is lush, dense and full-bodied, reminiscent of the nose, with the added bonus of licorice, dried herbs, fine tannins and an incredibly long finish. Serving temperature is key when drinking higher alcohol wines in this vein as a warm wine can allow alcohol to overpower the nose, 55-60 degrees is ideal. Allow the wine to warm slightly in the glass but don’t be afraid to have an ice bucket on hand to cool the bottle off midway through the meal if need be. This wine is ready to drink for those of you who enjoy fresh fruit flavors in your wine, but this could easily handle twenty years in the cellar if kept properly. Balanced Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with 20-30 years of age, can be some of the greatest wine experiences of all. Patience is a virtue and you will reap all the benefits if you decide to sit on this one. Surprisingly, this Filipino Short Rib dish is incredible with Grenache. Just don’t make it too spicy.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, translating to, “new castle of the Pope,” takes its name from a period in the fourteenth century when the Pope relocated his court to Avignon, which is just fifteen minutes away. In this charmed locale, the weather turns sunny, the air is infused with herbs and lavender, and the climate is comparatively Mediterranean. Although the land is particularly sandier and arid, large, round river rocks that were a product of prehistoric alpine glaciers are scattered amongst the vines and function to retain moisture and ripen the grapes. The mistral, a strong wind that howls down the valley, seasonally cools down the valley and retains acidity as well as protects the grapes from humidity and mold. All of these factors coalesce to deliver a wine that is terroir-driven, packed with luscious fruit and balanced with excellent acidity. Nowhere on earth does a wine of this flavor profile and complexity exist but here in the Southern Rhône; further, of all the appellations in the southern portion of Rhône, the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are the most sought after and celebrated. Today’s offer, the Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, is a wine of particular grace, elegance and ample energy. Although many of the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are incredible, this particular winery takes extra care to produce a product superior to many of its neighbors.       

Over the past few decades, Domaine de la Vieille Julienne has garnered a reputation as one of the truly superb producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I was fortunate enough to sit down to a meal with the man responsible for this success recently. The proprietor and winemaker, Jean-Paul Daumen, honored me by sharing the storied history of his family’s property as well as why he believes these wines stand apart from so many others in the appellation.   

Founded in 1905, Domaine de la Vieille began bottling their own wine in the late 1960’s under the direction of Jean-Paul’s father, Maxine. By 1990, the Domaine was a formidable name in the world of Châteauneuf-du-Pape when Jean-Paul joined the family business. Under his guidance, their wine would reach only further prominence with astute decisions that would usher the Domaine into the 21st century. Jean-Paul initiated a change in viticulture that would eliminate farming with chemicals, herbicides and pesticides; then, he took the courageous step to farm biodynamically. Although expensive to execute and even more complicated to expound upon, this process involves, but is not limited to, balancing the farm’s ecosystem through totally natural means in an effort to elevate nutrition, quality and flavor in the crop. I would personally like to add that the best wines I have had the pleasure of experiencing in my life have been farmed biodynamically (Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti).  When the natural health and balance of a vineyard is achieved, the potential energy of that particular place can reach its purest expression where all organisms are teeming, living in balance as nature intended. I would conclude in saying that not all biodynamic wines are great; there are multiple variables contributing to the final product. However, I have witnessed the success when the best sites of the world are farmed with this approach; the result is indescribably transcendental.       

In addition, Jean-Paul’s team focuses on low yields for ideal fruit and concentration of flavor, hand harvests and sorts the grapes twice for absolute perfection in the glass. His wine is aged in large neutral foudres (massive oak barrels), which allows the terroir to speak for itself.  He bottles without fining or filtration and delivers a product that is one of the truest expressions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the world.  

The particular wine I have the honor of offering you is the Vieille Julienne ‘les Trois Sources,’ which is derived from three plots, all of which are north facing and adjacent to the winery. The north-facing slope provides protection from the fierce summer sun as well as the howling winds of the mistral, which creates slow, steady sugar development, ample phenolic (flavor) ripeness and excellent retention of acidity at harvest.

This wine has an opaque, dark ruby core, moving to a garnet rim in the glass, the aromatics match the sight with ripeness and power yet perfectly lifted with fresh fruit and whimsical florals. As the wine opens up, crème de cassis, dried red currants, freshly picked strawberry, underbrush, wild herbs, purple flowers and hints of black olive bounce out of the glass. The palate is lush, dense and full-bodied, reminiscent of the nose, with the added bonus of licorice, dried herbs, fine tannins and an incredibly long finish. Serving temperature is key when drinking higher alcohol wines in this vein as a warm wine can allow alcohol to overpower the nose, 55-60 degrees is ideal. Allow the wine to warm slightly in the glass but don’t be afraid to have an ice bucket on hand to cool the bottle off midway through the meal if need be. This wine is ready to drink for those of you who enjoy fresh fruit flavors in your wine, but this could easily handle twenty years in the cellar if kept properly. Balanced Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with 20-30 years of age, can be some of the greatest wine experiences of all. Patience is a virtue and you will reap all the benefits if you decide to sit on this one. Surprisingly, this Filipino Short Rib dish is incredible with Grenache. Just don’t make it too spicy.





Country France
Region Southern Rhône
Sub-Region Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Varietal 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 10%Cinsault
Production n/a
Alcohol 15.5%
Oak Neutral Foudre
Soil Sand and Limestone
Farming Organic
TASTING PROFILE

Fruit

Earth

Body

Tannin

Acid

Alcohol
TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Country France
Region Southern Rhône
Sub-Region Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Varietal 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 10%Cinsault
Production n/a
Alcohol 15.5%
Oak Neutral Foudre
Soil Sand and Limestone
Farming Organic
SommSelect: Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, les Trois Sources Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône Valley, France 2011 - SommSelect SommSelect: Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, les Trois Sources Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône Valley, France 2011 - SommSelect

$52

Buy 2 and we‘ll include shipping.*

“The greatest wines that I have ever had have been farmed Biodynamically, and this CDP is no exception.”

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SommSelect brings a sommelier’s knowledge and experience to everyone, at every budget, every day. We aren’t influenced by scores or ratings, or by a need to move inventory. Instead, our co-founder and in-house Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble, tastes dozens of wines from the world’s best producers each week to find those that truly stand out. Enjoy our selections.

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