Red, Ready, but will keep

2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Vieille Julienne

2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Vieille Julienne

Red | Ready, but will keep | Domaine de la Vieille Julienne | Code:  43260 | 2001 | France > Rhône > Châteauneuf-du-Pape | Southern Rhône Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 15.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

96/100

WA - The 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (400 cases produced) will be the last vintage of this cuvee. A fabulous wine fashioned from 50-100-year old vines (80% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre), its dense purple color is accompanied by gorgeous aromas of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, minerals, and kirsch. As it sits in the glass, notions of pepper and spice also emerge from this unevolved, backward Chateauneuf. It has high levels of extract and richness as well as formidable tannin. The superb purity, immense fruit, and unbridled power of this extraordinary wine should result in something magical in about 7-10 years. However, this is not one of the more forward 2001 Chateauneuf du Papes, so buyers will need patience. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2022+.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 27/02/2004

The Producer

Domaine de la Vieille Julienne

Domaine de la Vieille Julienne

Domaine de la Vieille Julienne is located in the northern end of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, in sector known as Le Grès. Since 1990, when Jean-Paul Daumen took over from his father, the rise in quality of wine from this domaine has been breathtaking. There are now 32 hectares of vineyards and the average age of the vines is high at around 50 years.

The Châteauneuf is typically a blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (15%), Mourvèdre (10%), Counoise (10%) and Cinsault (5%). Jean Paul has adopted a thoroughly modern approach to winemaking with the entire crop now being destemmed and each of the separate grape varieties are vinified separately. The large oak foudres have been replaced with small oak barrels although Jean-Paul believes in "emphasising the fruit and the balance more than the wood". All his wines are bottled without filtration.

The Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

The Region

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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