Rhône Blend [CDP], Domaine de la Jaufrette
Jaufrette is run by Frédéric Chastan, the third generation winemaker to oversee this project. The winery sits just outside the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation but has holdings in Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Côtes-du-Rhône. All the grapes are hand harvested and hand sorted, and the reds are fermented in concrete tanks. These are meaty, powerful reds that benefit from cellaring, but the beauty here is the fact that Jaufrette does a lot of the aging for you. Where most producers are releasing their 2014s and 2015s, they were encouraged to release their ’09s and ’10s.
Rhône is a legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.