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Christophe Jaume from Domaine Grand Veneur

Christophe Jaume from Domaine Grand Veneur

Christophe Jaume, son of Alain Jaume and one of the proprietors of Domaine Grand Veneur and the negociante Alain Jaume et Fils, was recently in New York and we had a chance to taste and discuss some of his wines.

We currently carry his Domaine Grande Veneur Cotes du Rhone Village Les Champauvins 2007. We tasted the Champauvins 2006, as well as the Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2008 and the Lirac Clos de Sixte 2007. I posted a note about the 2007 Les Champauvins back in December.

When they defined the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation in 1935, the southern boundary was easy to set. The land around the village of Chateauneuf du Pape sloped down to the Rhone River, and where the land became too sandy for grape vines, the appellation ended.

On the north, there was no such natural boundary. There was a gravel lane across the plateau, so one side was deemed part of Chateauneuf while the other side became an unnamed Cotes du Rhone Village. Unfortunately, the lane ran right through the Jaume vineyard. The family wanted to know how they chose the boundary, since there was no geological reason for the line. Their protest, however, was in vain. Thus, two thirds of their original vineyards ended up a Cotes du Rhone Village, not Chateauneuf du Pape.
Grand Veneur Les Champauvins
The vineyard pictured above, with the galets (stones) left behind by an Alpine glacier and smoothed over thousands of years by the Rhone, is the Les Champauvins vineyard. Those galets are the hallmark of Chateauneuf du Pape. Looking at the vineyard, you would absolutely think you were in Chateauneuf.

The vineyards in Lirac are different. There, the soil is a mixture of sand, clay and pebbles, with the subsoil being sandy.

All of the wines of the Domaine are estate grown and bottled, and all are organically farmed. Only vegetal compost is used as fertilizer. They drop fruit extensively during the growing season, and all the wines are hand harvested.

My Tasting Notes

Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2008: Very tasty! Rich, ripe fruit, good acidity, nice bite, long finish.

Les Champauvins 2006: Red fruit, rich and powerful, some tannin, mild acidity, very long finish.

Lirac Clos de Sixte 2007: Red fruit, spicy nose. Black fruit flavors. Great “back of the mouth” length. Big, mouthfilling wine.

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