Alain Jaume Terrasses de Montmirail Gigondas 2013
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.
The Southern Rhône region of Gigondas extends northwest from the notably jagged wall of mountains called the Dentelles di Montmirail, whose highest point climbs to about 2,600 feet. The region and its wines have much in common with the neighboring Chateauneuf-du-Pape except that the vineyards of Gigondas exist at higher elevation and its soils, comprised mainly of crumbled limestone from the Dentelles, often produce a more dense and robust Grenache-based red wine.
The region has a history of fine winemaking, extending back to Roman times. But by the 20th century, Gigondas was merely lumped into the less distinct zone of Côtes du Rhône Villages. However, it was first among these satellite villages to earn its own appellation, which occurred in 1971.
Gigondas reds must be between 50 to 100% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre comprising the bulk of the remainder of the blend. They tend express rustic flavors and aromas of wild blackberry, raspberry, fig, plum, as well as juniper, dried herbs, anise, smoke and river rock. The best are bold but balanced, and finish with impressively sexy and velvety tannins.
The Gigondas appellation also produces rosé but no white wines.
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.