Domaine Jamet, Côtes du Rhône 750ml 2017France, Rhône
We agree, the 2017 Jamet Côtes du Rhône Syrah is the finest release since the towering 2010. From schist soils identical to Côte-Rôtie but from younger vines, the Côtes du Rhône in 2017 is perhaps the closest in style and quality. There is terrific tension, purity and depth, with beautiful aromatics, olive notes and incredible drinkability. After 40 vintages, Jean-Paul is slowly handing over custodianship of one of France’s great domaines to his son Loïc. Don’t expect big changes to the classically styled wines, however, as the cult Côte-Rôtie sells out on allocation.
Founded in 1950, Domaine Jamet started with just 4 hectares of vines back when Côte-Rôtie was not known for bottled wine. The family have since expanded their vineyards and now own the largest portion of this preciously small appellation. Their vineyards are planted almost entirely with Syrah vines; at the average age of 50 years old. While there are a number of small cuvées in the cellar, their focus is on the Côte-Rôtie. Often quoted as the purest expression of Syrah on earth, the Jamet-style has not changed in 5 decades. It fell out of favour in the 1990s and 2000s when Parker promoted a riper, more oak-driven style. Today, it is one of the Rhône’s most sought-after wines. If the highly-sought-after Côte-Rôtie is unavailable, look out for the Côtes du Rhône from just outside the appellation which is very much a softer Côte-Rôtie.
‘Brilliant violet. Smoke- and spice-accented dark berries and hints of licorice and olive on the lively nose. Subtly sweet blackberry and cherry flavors show very good energy and pick up a suave floral quality with aeration. Displays sharp delineation and strong, spicy lift on the persistent, gently tannic finish, which features lingering cherry pit and floral qualities. 2021 – 2027.’ – Josh Raynolds, Vinous, 91/100
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