Alain Jaume Grande Garrigue Vacqueyras 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Range: 89-92 points
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.
This charming appellation within the Côtes du Rhône Villages was second only to Gigondas to earn its own village appellation status. Its wines may be red, rosé or white—though hardly any is white. Its high winemaking standards follow many of the same rules as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. But for Vacqueyras red wines, half of the grapes have to be Grenache and the remainder is usually a combination of Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault.
While they can be robust and rustic in style, typically a great Vacqueyras red combines delicate aromas with intense fruit and a bright, crisp texture. They certainly don’t lack any character and show an abundance of black cherry, wild berry, plum, fig, baking spice, and a touch of game or smoke.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.