Import Selection: Cotes du Ventoux, 1990. Jaboulet Aine

“I do not think that Gerard Ja­boulet has ever made greater wine than he has in 1990…a new quali­ty threshold has been attained…”

Robert Parker Jr.

When we tasted this wine, we had to agree.

Paul Jaboulet Aine is another family owned winery. They have achieved the dual distinction of be­ing not only one of the largest pro­ducers of wine in the Rhône but also one of the best. Founded in 1834, it is run today by Gerard Ja­boulet, with his brother Jacques and his cousin, Philippe.

The Jaboulet winery produces a broad repertoire of wines, 23 in all, from all parts of the Rhône. These include five whites, a single rose, and a full range of reds, in­cluding the illustrious Hermitage La Chapelle. In addition to owning 178 acres of vineyrads, the winery purchases grapes from 150 other growers.

The firm’s original cellars in Tain L’Hermitage were built in 1834. Today, wine-making takes place at a new facility in nearby La Roche Glun, built in 1984. The aging of the one million bottles of wine is still done at the original cellars. Over six generations of Ja­boulets have cultivated the inhos­pitable terrain of the northern Rhône. Today, they are an enor­mously large wine dynasty that has managed to not sacrifice quality for quantity.

Côtes du Ventoux surrounds the famous Mount Ventoux in the Southern Rhône Valley. The soils there range from sandy gravel of chalk to moist clay. The grapes of Syrah (for structure and color) and Grenache (for perfume and fruit) grow well in this area. These con­ditions produce red wines of great spice and fruit with acid enough to carry the wines for 5-7 years. The 1990 vintage has produced big red wines throughout the valley and our 1990 Côtes du Ventoux is no exception.

Our selection yields a deep purple/magenta, almost opaque color. The nose is full of fruit from the 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache blend. A hint of spice and pepper come through the nose after the fruit. The body is full (almost chewy) with fruit (black currant and blackberry) and pepper com­ing through the middle. The finish is dry with a tannic acid promising longevity. The fruit flavors linger, ending with the pepper.

Serve at room temperature with venison ribs, lamb shanks or with cherry sauce roasted pork.

Cellaring Notes: Fresh and lively now, enjoy through 1994.

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