Monsieur Christophe Jaume of Domaine Grand Veneur travelled especially to host this wonderful occasion. He talked most eloquently and passionate about his wines. His audience were captivated, not only by his enthusiasm but also by his intensive and arduous work, necessary to produce these wonderful wines. It takes dedication of generations to bring out the best of this unique “terroir” – man working closely with nature.
Domaine Grand Veneur is situated right next to the famous Domaine de Beaucastel. The characteristic terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape comes from this layer of quartzite stones, remnants of Alpine glaciers that have been carried down by the Rhône River. The rocks are famous for retaining the heat from the plentiful sun, some 2800 hours a year, releasing it at night, ripening the grapes faster.
The powerful mistral wind carries away the moisture, intensifying the dry climate. In the north and north-east the famous galets roulés, round rocks or pebbles covering the clay soil. The stones can also serve as a protective layer to help retain moisture in the soil during the dry summer months. It is the combination of climate and “terroir” which gives the wines from Châteauneuf du Pape their distinct character and appeal.
Wines on the evening included:
2008 Cotes du Rhone Blanc “Viognier” – Domaine Grand Veneur
Exclusively made from Viognier. An ideal aperitif, with a fresh and clean palate and melon aromas.
2008 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc – Domaine Grand Veneur
20 % White Grenache, 30% Roussanne, 50% Clairette. A fantastic white Châteauneuf-du-Pape which matched the Seabass perfectly!
2008 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc “La Fontaine” – Domaine Grand Veneur
More akin to a Burgundy style wine, producing a wine exclusively made from the Roussanne grape take great care and dedication. The wine shows great aging potential.
2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge – Domaine Grand Veneur
A typical Grenache dominated blend. Showing all the typical forest fruit aromas and silky tannins, this wine proved to be a great accompaniment for the loin of venison.
2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge “Les Origines” Domaine Grand Veneur – en Magnum
A very small yield production. Matured for 18 months in new oak casks. There is no better way to appreciate a wine than in Magnum format! Having now aged in bottle for nearly 4 years, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red “Les Origines” is maturing and showing great signs of development. It showed wonderful black fruits, jams and spiced aromas. A wine which certainly evolved in the glass during the dinner!
Marc de Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Domaine Grand Veneur
To finish a grape brandy was served, which is made from the distillation of the destemmed and dried marcs. The distillate obtained is stored in oak casks and aged in the cellar for about 5 years.