2020 Domaine Jean-Paul, Corinne & Loïc Jamet, Côte Rôtie “Fructus Voluptas” Northern Rhone, France.
Jean-Paul Jamet, who is joined today at Domaine Jamet, by both his wife, Corinne, and his son, Loïc, makes some of the world’s best Syrah wines and in particular his Côte Rôtie offerings, like this alternative version, for early drinking, called “Fructus Voluptas” (Fruit Pleasure) that I recently opened and loved. This 2020 Côte Rôtie “Fructus Voluptas” is 100% Syrah from schist soils and saw mostly de-stemmed grapes with just a tiny amount of whole-cluster to deliver, as the name suggests, a riper and more opulent palate without much of the stemmy edginess and savory crunch of the main estate Côte Rôtie, which gets closer to 90% whole bunches, making for an aromatic and richly layered wine of fabulous quality. Even though mostly de-stemmed, there is classic underlying Jamet character here with a good tension between plush fruit density and exciting savory feral notes with solid tannins and underlying structure which keeps things firmly in place. The nose starts with burnt embers, meaty notes, crushed dark berries and beautiful violets before a mouth filling array of blackberry, blueberry, damson plum and kirsch fruits, accented nicely by subtle cedar, tarry licorice, a hint of olive tapenade, grilled herbs and lingering creme de cassis, all in a tight and youthful frame that deserves a hearty and robust meal, to provide its (this wine’s) best rewards. This bottling, which saw 16 months in used barrels, though harder to find, is a great way to get your feet wet in Jamet and will certainly seduce the Syrah lovers out there!

The famed Domaine Jamet, founded in 1975, produces a hand full of coveted bottlings that are some of the most sought after wines in the world, especially their awesome old school Côte Rôtie, as well as their 100% Syrah Côtes du Rhône and the IPG Syrah, which is a stunning value. Domaine Jamet’s path, as noted by Kermit Lynch, has been one that has stayed true to tradition, even as the appellation has modernized around him, and despite its popularity, Jamet always eschewed the use of excessive new oak. Instead they chose to maintain a cellar mainly of traditional old demi-muid(s) and with just a few small barrels. Kermit Lynch continues to honor Jamet’s style, saying, as the fashion to de-stem Syrah accelerated, Jamet remained firmly opposed, continuing to vinify their Côte Rôtie using whole-cluster and stem inclusion, which averages 90% in most vintages. Perhaps most importantly, Lynch continues, Jamet remained committed to his extreme, impossibly steep and rocky, treacherously terraced parcels that could only be worked painstakingly by hand, with a collection of top notch lieu-dits, including Gerine, Lesardes, Fongeant, Chavaroche, Côte Bodin, Bonnivières, Le Plomb, Le Truchet, Les Moutonnes, La Landonne, Côte Blonde, Côte Rozier, Leyat, Côte Brune, Tartaras, and Rochins. All of which are some of the greatest Syrah vines in the world and possess terroir influences that are very distinct, highlighting the cooler climate here and the granite and schist based soils. Domaine Jamet, not far from Ampuis, Côte Rôtie’s main village, is a favorite for collectors and it is never easy or cheap getting bottle of their Côte Rôtie, but oh man, there are thrilling wines and even their lesser (price wise) wines, like this one, are really worth the money and effort too.
($90+ Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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