Alain Jaume Domaine Grand Veneur Lirac Clos de Sixte 2007
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1979, Alain and Odile Jaume carried on the family tradition with the creation of the Grand Veneur. At the beginning, the vineyard extended over 22 acres. Over time, the vineyard grew to today's figure of nearly 170 acres spread in the Chateauneuf du Pape, Lirac, Cotes de Rhone Villages "Les Champauvins", and Cotes du Rhone areas.
In 2003, a new estate of 50 acres was acquired : the "Clos de Sixte" Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Lirac. This appellation located a few kilometres from Chateauneuf du Pape (in front of it when you cross the Rhone river), is one of the fifteen Crus of the Rhône Valley. However, the soils are unique and they look like the plateaux of Chateauneuf du Pape with sandy-clay earth and the famous rocks that cover the soil. For many years, Lirac had less reputation than Chateauneuf du Pape, but it is potentially the coming "Outsider" of the Rhone Valley.
Over the years, the family has grown, too. Today, Sébastien and Christophe are gradually taking charge of the management of the estate. Sharing the family know-how, they have to put to maximum advantage their knowledge in wine-growing and wine-tasting.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.