In a nutshell: Outstanding old vine Chateauneuf from Alain Jaume's respected Grand Veneur estate.
The lowdown: Alain Jaume is a legend in the Rhône Valley established in northern Châteauneuf du Pape with his family having been making wine since 1826. His Domaine Grand Veneur estate consistently produces some of the top wines of the vintage with this 2019 Vieilles Vignes scoring 99/100 from wine critic Jeb Dunnuck. Certified organic and working in a traditional, sustainable way by hand in the vineyard this is classic style of Châteauneuf is one that can be enjoyed young but also has great ageing capacity. The fruit for the Vieilles Vignes come from two separate vineyards and is 45% both Grenache and Mourvedre with a little bit of Syrah as well. All plots are hand harvested at optimum ripeness and vinified separately before maturing in both oak casks and concrete vats, to retain the freshness of the fruit.
Inky purple in colour and wonderfully perfumed aromas of black fruits, violets and cassis, minerally graphite and crushed stone. The palate is full and silky smooth with fine tannins, notes of dark chocolate and some spice on the long finish.
99/100 - Jeb Dunnuck, 97/100 - Jeff Leve (Wine Cellar Insider), 95/100 - Wine Enthusiast
When to drink: Lovely, big and robust now though will keep into the 2040s.