Côtes du Rhône Reserve Blanc Domaine Grand Veneur 2016
Domaine Grand Veneur, Châteauneuf du Pape
“This sensational estate consistently produces some of the top whites of the appellation (in addition to the reds), and they’ve done well in 2015.” Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate October 2016
Mathieu Jaume founded the domaine in 1826. Christophe and Sébastien Jaume have now taken over from their father Alain and have carefully expanded the domaine. Located in the commune of Orange and comprising 75 hectares of vines, it covers four different appellations: Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Côtes du Rhône and Lirac. As of 2012, the estate has been certified organic. The vineyards are planted with a mixture of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette, with some of the vines approaching 90 years of age. The terroir here is classic Châteauneuf, with a sub soil of marine sandstone covered by Alpine deluvium or galets roulés. The soils are cultivated by light ploughing and sustained by natural compost. Yields are low, or kept under control by green harvesting during the summer, which allows the Jaumes to be selective not only in terms of quantity, but also quality, by favouring those clusters which are best exposed. Harvesting is carried out manually, whilst a triage in the vineyard earmarks the best grapes before they are transported to the winery, where the grapes are destemmed, lightly crushed and clarified by natural sedimentation. For the white grapes, the fermentation using wild yeasts is controlled at 18oC, in order to preserve the fresh aromatics. The red grapes undergo a cold maceration before being fermented with wild yeasts at 28-32oC, with the objective of enriching the must with the right amount of aroma, colour and tannin. The vinification process lasts 18 to 20 days with regular pigeage. The wines are then matured in a combination of vats and oak casks for at least 18 months, with a final assemblage taking place in January. The range is exceptional and equally superb in white as in red. ‘La Fontaine’ is consistently one of the best white Châteauneuf and ‘Les Origines’ delivers the appropriate class for a premium cuvée with many international accolades, spending 18 months in new oak. There is no weak wine here and the well-priced Côtes du Rhône is produced from a vineyard situated only metres away from the famous Château Beaucastel.
Naturally generous wine with aromatics of fresh white flowers and stone fruits arousing the senses and a smooth, persistent mineral structure on the palate which concludes with a lively, clean finish.
Grape: Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette