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Robin Garr

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WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by Robin Garr » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:34 pm

Another year, another Jaume

Regular readers will have noticed by now that a very few specific wines captivate me to the extent that I can't resist grabbing each new vintage as it appears, comparing and contrasting the new wine (and, in some cases, its rising price) with the same item in previous vintages.

One annual arrival that never fails to leap from the shelf into my shopping basket is the <b>Grand Veneur</b> series of Rhône reds produced by Alain Jaume of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Jaume's flagship Chateauneuf will sell from $35 to $50 or more for the 2005 vintage, depending on location, local taxes and the rapaciousness of your vendor.

But for a fine buy, look to his second-tier bottlings designated Côtes du Rhône Villages or even the simple Côtes du Rhône. Jaume's <b>"Les Champauvins"</b> Côtes du Rhône Villages is literally grown just across a fence line from his Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyards and shares similar grapes and soil with Chateauneuf, particularly the large, round "<i>pierres roulez</i> stones that reflect sunlight and concentrate the Rhone Valley's summer heat. With good reason, I call it a "Baby Chateauneuf" and rate it as one of the top Côtes du Rhône Villages, even if its local price tag hit $20 this year, placing it close to the price we used to pay for the real Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

An even better buy, a deliciously slurpy yet well structured wine, and never mind its "lesser" Côtes du Rhône status, is Jaume's <b>Reserve Grand Veneur</b>, a tasty blend of mostly Grenache with a little Syrah to add structure and a whiff of fragrant pepper. At $12 in this market, it's about as good a red-wine value as you'll find these days.

<table border="0" align="right" width="170"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/vene0617.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr></table>Alain Jaume & Fils 2005 Domaine Grand Veneur "Les Champauvins" Côtes du Rhône Villages ($19.99)

Inky dark, almost black, glints of garnet. Raspberries and plums, hints of spice. Ripe, full and "chewy," tart and softly tannic, it's fine now with airing and an appropriate red-meat food match, but will surely benefit from a few years' cellar time. With its standard blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre and the favored location of this stony vineyard, it could easily pass for Chateauneuf-du-Pape. U.S. importer: Kysela Pere & Fils Ltd., Winchester, Va. (June 17, 2007)

<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> Perfect with lamb char-grilled in the style of Greek <i>souvlaki</i>; it would make a fine companion with any grilled meat.

<B>VALUE:</B> The near-Chateauneuf quality of Domaine Grand Veneur makes it competitive against other hearty dry reds at the $20 price point, but shop around, as Wine-Searcher.com shows it widely available for several dollars less.

<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> The excellent balance and tannins, with the structure of the 2005 vintage, make this fine red an exception to the usual rule about drinking Côtes du Rhône young: It will likely benefit from three to five years of cellar time.

<B>WEB LINKS AND VENDORS:</B> See below.

<table border="0" align="left" width="170"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/vene0619.jpg" border="1" align="left"></td></tr></table>Alain Jaume & Fils 2005 Réserve Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône ($11.99)

A typical Côtes du Rhône blend of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Syrah, this is a very dark ruby-color wine. Ripe raspberry aromas add a toasty overtone. Juicy and ripe flavors, raspberries shaped by zippy fresh-fruit acidity, offer a pure and appetizing rendition of quality Côtes du Rhône from an excellent vintage. U.S. importer: Kysela Pere & Fils Ltd., Winchester, Va. (June 19, 2007)

<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> Versatile and food friendly, good with grilled meat or poultry; fine with a light meatless summer dinner, an omelet stuffed with mushrooms, green peppers and onions.

<B>VALUE:</B> In today's market, it's an outstanding value at just over $10, worth buying by the case if you're in the market for a "house" red.

<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> Best enjoyed while it retains its youthful fruit, but I wouldn't worry about keeping it for a year or two.

<B>PRONUNCIATION:</B>
<B>Jaume</B> = "<I>Zhome</I>"
<B>Veneur</B> = "<I>Veh-nuhr</I>"
<B>Côtes du Rhône</B> = "<I>Coat du Rone</I>"

<B>WEB LINKS:</B>
Here's a link to the Domaine Grand Veneur Website, in English and French. Click the French or British flag for the language of your choide:
http://www.domaine-grand-veneur.com
For a Grand Veneur fact sheet on the U.S. importer's site, click
http://www.kysela.com/rhone/grandveneur.htm

<B>FIND THESE WINES ONLINE:</B>
Check prices and locate online vendors for Alain Jaume's Grand Veneur wines on Wine-Searcher.com:
[url=http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Grand%2bVeneur/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP]http://www.wine-searcher.com/
find/Grand%2bVeneur/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP[/url]

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Last edited by Robin Garr on Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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michael dietrich

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by michael dietrich » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:41 pm

have sold previous vintages of the Champauvins and would agree that it is one of the best out there. The 2005 is not in our market yet but should be here any time. The importer just switched local distributors. I look forward to tasting the new vintage.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by Robert Reynolds » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:45 pm

Apparently Wine-Searcher.com doesn't link to any Oklahoma stores. Bummer... :cry:
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by Robin Garr » Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:11 pm

Robert R. wrote:Apparently Wine-Searcher.com doesn't link to any Oklahoma stores. Bummer... :cry:


Robert, try the alternate link to contact Kysela Pere et Fils, the Virginia-based importer. They won't be able to sell to you directly, but someone there should be able to tell you if they have an Oklahoma distributor. Alternatively, hit the better wine shops in Tulsa and see if they carry (or can order) either Kysela imports in general or Alain Jaume's Grand Veneur wines specifically.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by James Roscoe » Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:50 pm

I found the Cotes du Rhone for $8.99 on the website of the local BAWS. They also have a CdP, but not the CdR Villages. The CdP is $19.99 according to the site. Is this a case of a "back up the truck" or "caveat emptor"?
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by Robin Garr » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:21 pm

James Roscoe wrote:They also have a CdP, but not the CdR Villages. The CdP is $19.99 according to the site. Is this a case of a "back up the truck" or "caveat emptor"?


I suspect neither: My guess is that, whether innocently or not so innocently, they've mis-filed the Champauvins as Chateauneuf. But it would be worth finding out. If it really is the CdP, I'd be tempted to back up the truck.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by Bruce K » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:18 pm

James, I bought the 2004 Jaume Reserve Grand Veneur at Corridor (I'm assuming that's the BAWS you're referring to) for $9 last year. A few months later, I found it at Bell's Wine Shop in downtown DC for $7.50. Now, that was back up the truck time.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by James Roscoe » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:36 pm

Yeaeh, it's Corridor and the label on the web site says it's a CdP for $19.99. So I should head up there and get a few bottles? The website is notorious for being wrong. If the CdR is still $9.00 I need to get some of that too. Should I sneak some into the picnic on Sunday?

I haven't been to Bell's. Yet another store in DC's wine nirvana. Thanks for the tip Bruce.

Her is the image of the CdP label on the website[img][img]http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/userpix/60_imgdisplaytcl_1.jpg[/img]
[/img]
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by Bruce K » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:44 pm

the label on the web site says it's a CdP for $19.99. So I should head up there and get a few bottles? The website is notorious for being wrong.


I've bought the Grand Veneur CdP for under $20, but that was several years ago. Lately, when I've seen it on sale, it's been more in the $25-$30 range, at stores other than Corridor. So I can't tell you whether their website has got it right or wrong. If it really is the CdP, just be careful about whether it's a 2002 (awful vintage in the Rhone) or 2003 (blazingly hot, though some southern Rhones didn't suffer as much as other wines).
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: Another year, another Jaume

by James Roscoe » Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:03 pm

My guess is the website is out of date. I'll bet it's 2004 and in the $25 range.
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