Mission Codename Sands of time
“Few wines I’d rather have in my cellar (or better yet, on my dinner table), than Vieille Julienne.” – Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
BIG day for anyone who loves seriously good Châteauneuf. Of the 96+ point variety. With a 94 from Decanter too.
And you already know - at the best price in the galaxy!
Agent Rhône already scooped a case of his own and proclaimed it one of his all-time favorites. When we last sold a “Les Trois Sources” we already knew it was a rockstar. It always has been. But these days it’s just greatest hit after greatest hit. Today we’re rolling out the 96+ pointer 2019, fresh off the boat, flexing some serious style as always.
A couple of years ago, you had to sell a kidney to get a bottle of this. The 2016 earned the #5 spot on Wine Spectator’s Top-100 wines of the year countdown. Then it simply vanished from the market as collectors across the globe scooped it up at inflated prices from any retailer who still had some. Luckily these days there’s a little more to go around although the quantities are still scarce - and even more so at this world’s lowest price.
What makes this such an extraordinary wine? One heaped with praise and high scores year after year. A wine Jeb Dunnuck called a “naked, raw expression… opulent, sexy and fruit-loaded.” He’s a huge fan no doubt claiming “Vieille Julienne’s Jean-Paul Daumen is unquestionably one of the most talented winemakers in all of France. Since taking over the Domaine in 1990, the estate has gone from strength to strength, and the list of truly extraordinary wines from this small terroir located on the northern edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is mind-boggling.”
So, what’s in the glass? Dominated with pure red fruits, strawberry jam, and melted red licorice whips, with kirsch, wild herbs, and sweet spices galore. A little black cherry and chocolate. Fuller bodied, round, supple, and STACKED from front to back with layers of unfolding complexity. The finish? There seems to be no end to this wine, even when the palate is devoid of impressions minutes later, its memory will haunt you for a long, long time. Especially when decanted for hours before a lavish meal with loved ones who appreciate the finest of wines. A stunner in every way.
And if we had to choose one word that can demystify the profoundness here?
Sand. Very, very few grow on sand. Decanter explains “The red wines of Châteauneuf range from beefy to ‘Burgundian’. If you want beefy, look for galets roulés. If you want ‘Burgundian’, look for sand.” ‘Fine, fresh wines’ was the three-word summary of Emmanuel Raynaud, as Agent Noir strode out with him on a cool, wet April morning a few years ago to look at the key vineyard sites of Château Rayas, whose wine incarnates the ‘Grenache on sand’ style…’ “Vieille Julienne’s wines are some of the longest-lived in the appellation” explains Wine Spectator adding that “Les Trois Sources comes from the Domaine’s sandy soil parcels, which impart a silky elegance to the typically powerful fruit…”
A bottle of Rayas costs about $2,000, no joke. You can have this similarly sand-grown beauty today for much, MUCH less. Assuming you move quickly, what are you waiting for?
96+ Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“Cassis, morello cherry, Asian spice, and a beautiful sense of minerality and loamy earth emerge from the 2019 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Trois Sources, a full-bodied, concentrated blend of 60% Grenache, 15% each of Cinsault and Syrah, and the balance Mourvèdre. Coming all from the estate’s sandy soils in the northern part of the appellation, this incredibly concentrated, textured wine has perfect balance, building tannins, and a great finish. Give this beauty another 4-5 years in the cellar and drink it over the following two decades or more. Drink 2025-2047.”
94 Points – Decanter
“Great freshness and beautiful vibrancy. Serious concentration here, not the most elegant tannins compared to previous years, it’s a rambunctious vintage. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Terret Noir, Vaccarèse, Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Picardan, with an average age of 75 years, all coplanted, co-fermented. Three terraces on sandy soils. Distinctly brambly fruit. Drink 2020-2032.”
What the Winery Says
2019 'Les Trois Sources' Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- Jean-Paul Daumen
- 65% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Cinsault , 8% Mourvèdre, 8% Counoise, 7% Other
- Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, Vallée du Rhône
- Les Trois Sources
- Vineyard size
- 8.5 ha
- Average vine age
- 75 years old
- 18 months
- 100% neutral large foudres