2007 Domaine Jaume Vinsobres Altitude 420 Cotes du Rhone
We wanted to try something new, but we needed help. We knew the 2007 vintage in the southern Rhone was spectacular from the get-go. We discovered a bevy of crazy bargains, often distinctly 'nordic' wines with the explosive red fruit of the vintage and the fine backbone that spoke of cooler evenings and the Mistral. But we were fighting an internal tug-of-war. Our nose and palate said one thing, and our wallets said another. We needed a partner.
We were with Richard and Pascal Jaume when we first rolled out the idea. The Jaume brothers are well known for the purity of their Grenache/Syrah blends on the windswept hillsides of Vinsobres. All of their 2007s were superb, but we were drawn to one wine taken from old vines set at 1,300 feet in elevation. The soil was sandy calcareous. The flavors were red fruit luscious: the aromatics bright and wonderfully fresh, speaking of the vintage and the spot.
So we took our time, tasted enough wine to put those big Jaume smiles on the brothers' faces. Then we dropped the question. "What if you ship a couple hundred cases for WineAccess? We'll ask the buyers how they like the 420. If it's a hit, we'll take another shot in February."
Most wineries see us coming a mile away and just want to sell as much as they can as fast as they can. Not the Jaumes. These guys are suckers for the consumer. Like the best small production winemakers in Europe, hopelessly tied to their vines and cellars, they're seemingly more interested in how their wines are received than how much is sold. They looked at each other, laughed that confident artisan laugh, said 'ok', and voila -- we started something new.
We offered this deliciously layered, high-toned Vinsobres last July. It sold in a flash (too fast for some -- sorry), but we had to wait until the summer heat subsided to get all of it out. Then the reviews and ratings started rolling in and what we already knew was heartily reinforced. Customers raved (look to the right). In the interim, even the Wine Spectator caught up with us, rating this gorgeous red fruit blend 90 points (do people know it was the same wine before the review as after?).
"Silky and racy, with a floral note in front of gorgeous raspberry and boysenberry fruit that's laced with graphite and red licorice notes. The long, fine-grained finish has nice buried grip."
90 points--Wine Spectator
"Deep ruby color with beautifully vibrant, bright red fruit aromas. A touch of anise. Rich, and finely layered in the mid-palate with "nordic" lift. Fine long finish: remarkable for a wine of this price. Drink now-2012. Note: This one gains weight in the glass, so give it a half hour of air before drinking."
--WineAccess Travel Log