Domaine de La Vieille Julienne - 2013 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, ‘lieu-dit Clavin’
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Inside the bottle: This wine leaps out of the glass upon opening, showing off its whopping 23% alcohol with dense notes of cherry popsicle, chocolate gelato, burnt gopher holes and the finish of punget smells of a horse’s… whoa!! Do people really think this way about wine? I hope not, maybe it’s just those wine critics. Well, it’s not really 23% alcohol, popsicles, gelato and the other strange animally things… One thing is for sure with this wine from Vieille Julienne and that is this wine is definitely not your average Cotes du Rhone. It is strikingly fresh with loads of red fruit and savory characters. The freshness of the wine is sharpened with a piercing aroma of white pepper, earth, clove and anise. Red and lavender flower fully emerge only shortly after opening. It is a mistake to drink quickly, so take your time on this one.
Terroir: This is Jean-Paul’s oldest vineyard, with vines that are beyond 100 years old. It is also the parent material for the parcels within his Chateauneuf vineyards. Indeed, this wine is not a Chateauneuf-du-Pape but it has a tendency to drink like one. The truth about Clavin is that there is a mere twenty-foot wide road that separates his Chateauneuf vineyards from this particular “lieu-dit”(a phrase meaning literally “place name”), Clavin. Jean-Paul thinks in some years Clavin can be better than his Chateauneuf, which commands three to four times the price. The wine is made of nearly 80% Grenache with the rest divided between Mouvedre and Syrah. Sulfites are added at the end of its year in foudre, just before bottling. The wine is neither fined nor filtered.