We've long believed that the star wine of the Alain Jaume/Grand Veneur stable isn't their spectacular Châteauneuf "Vielles Vignes", but the incredible Côtes-du-Rhône value that hails from the Champauvins vineyard.
And why would we think such a thing? Well, for starters, Champauvins was WITHIN the Châteauneuf appellation until the mid-1930s, when those responsible for re-mapping the zone decided- for convenience's sake- to designate a dirt path separating Champauvins from the rest of Châteauneuf as the new appellation boundary. Back then, in the midst of a worldwide depression, Châteauneuf wasn't the household name it is today- nor did its wines command today's premiums- so there was no outcry over this decision. But...the Champauvins vineyard features the same clay/sand subsoils beneath the galets (glacial stones) that provide such warmth and protection to bush-pruned old Grenache vines.
So are we saying that what's in this bottle is Châteauneuf at half-price? Well, no...appellation boundaries DO matter. But, does it reflect the character, aromas and flavors of Châteauneuf? Absolutely. And we invite you to taste and judge for yourself; just be warned that you may find yourself wanting a case or more!