J&R Complete Wine Catalog

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Domaine du Pageau ... Domaine Bois De Boursan ... Domaine Eddie Feraud ... Domaine le mas des Collines ... Domaine des Amouriers ... Domaine du Montvac ... Domaine Canto Perdrix ... Domaine Beau Mistral ... Domaine les Girasols ... Domaine du Val des Rois ... Domaine les Aussellons ... Domaine Chaumes-Arnaud ... Domaine de L'Espigouette ... Domaine Mireille et Vincent ... Domaine de la Tourade ...

Domaine du Pégau


J et R Selections has exclusive rights to this superstar estate of Châteauneuf du Pape, classified by Robert M. Parker, Jr., in The Wine Advocate as "outstanding" (*****), one of the seven best estates in Châteauneuf du Pape. As he says: "This superb estate fashions an old style, massive, unbelievably rich, rustic Châteauneuf du Pape. If you want to taste what the old style Châteauneuf du Pape of the forties, fifties, and early sixties tasted like, buy a bottle of Domaine du Pégau. They are rich, rustic, sometimes massive Châteauneuf du Papes made with no concession to modern-day tastes."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1993. Parker Wine Advocate 90: "The exuberant and virile 1993 is a typical wine from this estate -- powerful, full-bodied, rich, dense, and tannic, with intense, chewy, peppery fruit, a muscular personality, and impressive flavor extraction. It will easily last for 15+ years."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1992. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate 90: "One of the top wines of the vintage, the 1992 exhibits a huge, earthy, herbal, black-cherry, and chocolatey, exotic nose, super-rich, full-bodied flavors, a saturated color (it is one of the darkest 1992s I tasted), low acidity, and a fleshy, alcoholic, intense finish. Already delicious, it will evolve gracefully for 14-15 years."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1991. AWine Spectator 89, a "top-rated wine": "A really attractive wine, complex and deep in flavor. Has lots of plum and berry notes accented by spice, mint and leather nuances that linger on the finish. Firmly tannic."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1990. Robert Parker, TheWine Advocate 96: "The 1990 Châteauneuf du Pape is one of the appellation's superstars. After bottling, the color is still an impenetrable, black/purple color. The huge nose of truffles, tar, superripe black fruits, licorice, tobacco, and spices is profound. In the mouth, there is sweet, expansive fruit, a super-concentrated, powerful, tannic taste, lavish amounts of glycerin and body, as well as a finish that lasts well over a minute. With plenty of tannin, this wine is destined to have 20-25 years of evolution. This wine was bottled unfiltered, so expect considerable sediment to occur. Get your reservations for this beauty."

Paul Féraud, proprietor, is a Parker Wine Advocate "Wine Personality" of 1992.

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1994. Robert Parker, TheWine Advocate 90-92: "Another classic, with its huge, roasted herb, smoked meat, cedar, and thick, black-cherry perfume. Extremely full-bodied, remarkably powerful and concentrated, as well as tannic and dense, this old style, mouthfilling, chewy Châteauneuf du Pape will keep for two decades."


Domaine Bois de Boursan


J et R Selections is the only importer of this estate, which Robert Parker in The Wine Advocate says is one of the "stars of the two greatest vintages [1989 and 1990] for this appellation since 1978." He classifies this as one of the leading estates of Châteauneuf du Pape, with "intense, full-bodied wines with considerable character and charm .

The wines of Domaine Bois de Boursan are organically grown wines now that the son, Jean-Paul Versino, has taken over the estate. In The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker also notes that "no sulfur is employed in the winemaking process. Therefore, anyone who has an allergy to sulfates might find this to be a red wine they can pleasurably consume without risk."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1993. Parker Wine Advocate 88: "The 1993 displays a dark ruby color with plenty of purple tints. The flashy nose of ground pepper, Provenšal herbs, and ripe black-cherry fruit is followed by a full-bodied wine with admirable depth and richness, as well as light to moderate tannin. Although a structured style of Châteauneuf du Pape, it is flattering to drink at present."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1992. Parker Wine Advocate 84: "A spicy, herb, and black-cherry fruitiness, medium body, a compact flavor profile, and a soft, clean finish." Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1990. "Medium full body, medium acid. Black plums, pine, jasmine, chocolate. Exotic. Rich texture. High extract of fruit in the lush, soft finish. 89 rating." The Wine Enthusiast and Beverage Tasting Institute Annual French Wine Competition.

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1989. Parker Wine Advocate 89: "Balanced, with an impressive deep, ruby/purple color, a reticent, but blossoming bouquet of herbs, vanilla, red and black fruits, and a slightly resinous (pine trees?) component."

Châteauneuf du Pape blanc 1993. Parker Wine Advocate 85: "Proprietor Jean-Paul Versino is a fine winemaker. The 1993 blanc is significantly better than most of its peers. It displays an attractive ripe pear-scented nose, a fleshy, honeyed fruitiness, and excellent purity, acidity, and body."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1994. Parker Wine Advocate 89-91: "An exceptionally saturated dark purple color, a huge, smoky, garrique (that truffle, brush, and Provenšal herb smell), and black fruit-scented nose that soars from the glass. Full-bodied, unctuously-textured, thick, and rich, with a kirsch flavor essence on the mid-palate, as well as chocolate-covered cherries and herbs in the finish, this a a complex, potentially outstanding Châteauneuf du Pape."

Châteauneuf du Pape blanc 1994. "I was stunned at the richness and quality of Boursan's white Châteauneuf. Fresh apples and pears make this a pure pleasure to drink."


Château du Montmirail Gigondas

Récents Médailles dans les Grands Concours Nationaux de France:

Gigondas 1985: Médaille d'Argent à Paris, 1987
Prix d'Excellence à Vinalies, 1988
Gigondas 1986: Médaille de Bronze à Macon, 1988
Gigondas 1987: Médaille d'Argent à Orange, 1988
Gigondas 1988: Médaille d'Or à Orange, 1989
Médaille d'Or à Macon, 1989
Gigondas 1989: Médaille d'Or à Macon, 1991

Château du Montmirail is one of the oldest and premier estates of Gigondas and Vacqueyras, dating back to the 1600s.

The vines of the Gigondas appellation of Château du Montmirail have an unique microclimate at the crest of the Dentelles du Montmirail. At this elevated location, with well drained, rocky soil exposed eastward from north to south to absorb the Provenšal sun, the vines at this altitude escape the intense dry summer heat of the Plan de Dieu; the result is a more balanced, structured wine than the wines of Gigondas estates whose vines are on the westward exposure of the slopes around the village of Gigondas itself and on the sloping plains of the appellation below.

Gigondas rouge 1993. Currently in inventory.

Gigondas rouge 1990. This vintage will be one of the the estate's "vintages" of the decade. Giving it an 89 rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert M. Parker says it is deeply-colored, with a big, jammy nose, full, chewy, "and splendidly long. While there is tannin, it is nearly concealed by the lavish quantities of fruit. Drink it over the next 20 years."


Château du Montmirail

Vacqueyras & Côtes du Rhône

Récents Médailles dans les Grands Concours Nationaux de France: Vacqueyras 1986: Médaille d'Argent à Paris, 1989
Vacqueyras 1989: Médaille de Bronze à Macon, 1991
Vacqueyras 1990: Médaille d'Argent à Paris, 1992
C-d-R Blanc 1988: Médaille de Bronze à Paris, 1989
C-d-R Rosé 1990: Médaille d'Argent à Paris, 1991
C-d-R Rouge 1990: Médaille d'Or à Paris, 1991

The Chateau de Montmirail is featured in the article, "Les Côtes du Rhone Villages," in the November 1987 issue of Wine. In Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine 1993, Chateau du Montmirail is the only estate recommended for Vacqueyras.

Vacqueyras rouge, cuvée Saint Papes 1990. This is a wine to put down, if you can. It is "handsome and packed with black-fruite elements. It displays an enticing oaky mantle and a smooth charming edge." This is the premier wine of the estate, with old vines vinified in the traditional style except for very slight filtering. It is aged two years in old oak before bottling.

Vacqueyras rouge, cuvée Deux Frères 1993. Deeply-colored, with full body, it offers up a vivid raspberry-scented nose, as well as long, deep yet supple flavors. The cuvee Saint Papes is aged in oak for two years, while the Deux Freres is aged for only one year. They have the same cepages.

Côtes du Rhône blanc 1993. Always a delightful Rhone white, very distinctive among the whites of the appelation. It has an exceptional liquorice aftertaste, mindful of the basil and pastis of the Midi--all in all, an exceptional white well received by consumers and critics alike.

Côtes du Rhône rosé 1991. A top flight Rhone rosé, with more fruit than pepper.


Domaine de l'Espigouette

Côtes du Rhone Villages
Côtes du Rhone & Vin de Pays d'Orange

Robert Parker in The Wine Advocate says "the excellent domaine of Bernard Latour generally produces immensely satisfying, full-bodied wines that are typical of the highest quality level of the Côtes du Rhône appellation." J et R features the wines of this estate, which is one of our premier wines.

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1994. "The 1994 was a great vintage for Espigouette and the wine shows it. Quite youthfully firm yet, the wine is nonetheless packed with blueberry and licorice components. Certainly the most structured Espigouette sampled but also its densest and most extracted."

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1993. Giving it an 87+ rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker says the 1993 "is tannic, muscular, rich, and deeply-colored, with plenty of extract and promise."

Côtes du Rhône Village rouge 1993. At a dinner in France where we invited some of our growers to celebrate the loading of our container, which included the proprietaires of Domaine du Pegau, Domaine Bois de Boursan, and Chateau du Montmirail, at which we served all of the wines in the container, Bernard Latour's Côtes du Rhône Village was the unanimous choice as the best wine of its class--perfectly balanced, excellent structure, and harmonious in every way, a winemaker's wine. Giving it an 87 rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker says it exhibits an" intense, saturated, dark ruby/purple color, an unevolved but promising nose of earthy, black-cherry fruit, medium to full body, a supple texture, excellent concentration, and a long, soft finish."

Vin de Pays d'Orange rouge 1992. This vintage has been described as"fresh, racy, full of fetching fruit, flower, and herb perfumes, plump and immediate."

Vin de Pays d'Orange rouge 1994. "Known for its excellent offerings from vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône appellations, this VDP made just outside the Côtes du Rhône reveals excellent color, a ripe, peppery, herb, and black-fruit-scented nose, and robust, muscular flavors with excellent concentration and spice. There is a rustic quality to this satisfying, mouthfilling, in-your-face wine. " Robert Parker, TheWine Advocate, 86 rating.

In inventory: Côtes du Rhône 1994, Village 1993, Vin de Pays 1992.


Domaine les Amouriers


Côtes du Rhône et Vin de Pays

In Vacqueyras, Domaine les Amouriers is acknowledged to be a leading estate, although recently almost unknown in the United States. J et R was the first to import the domaine, and remains a primary importer, although another importer recently discovered it.

The propriètaire, M. Chudzieciwicz, is acknowledged as a superb winemaker, as his very successul 1992s, a very difficult year on the Plan de Dieu, demonstrate. The cépages of Amourier's wines are varied somewhat considerably from year to year to achieve the best possible balance and structure; in contrast, the cépages of many domaines are the same every year.

Vacqueyras rouge 1994. Robert Parker,The Wine Advocate , 87 rating: "A deep ruby color, a big, forceful, peppery, black-cherry and Provenšal herb-scented nose, ripe, medium to full-bodied, spicy flavors, an attractive suppleness, and a smooth, rich finish."

Vacqueyras rouge 1993. Robert Parker in The Wine Advocate says "this small estate is making terrific Vacqueyras. The 1993 is a wine bargain, as well as a full-bodied, chewy, exuberant, peppery, fruity Rhône wine. 88 rating." The Wine Enthusiast and Beverage Tasting Institute Annual French Wine Competition gives it an 88 rating: "Medium full body, medium acid. Black cherries, toffee, leather. Soft, plush texture. Dramatic entry of rich fruit covered with sweet brown spices. The flavors keep expanding indicating a long and promising future."

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1994.

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1992. Robert Parker in The Wine Advocate praises the 1992 Côtes du Rhône (85 rating): "This wine is packed with peppery, spicy, rich black fruits, exhibits excellent color, and a chewy, fleshy taste."

Vin de Pays rouge 1992. A sweet and rich aroma of ripe fruit and farmyard. On the palate its fruit impression is very round and sweet, balanced by fine tannin. Good now.


Domaine le Mas des Collines

Gigondas & Côtes du Rhône

Domaine le Mas des Collines makes a traditional, old-fashioned Gigondas. This is not a style for everyone, but for some it is the only "true" Gigondas style. This domaine is our personal favorite (we've lived in the Mas des Collines itself) and has been featured at the Rowe Inn for many years.

Gigondas rouge 1990. Gigondas Champion Red Wine and Best Buy. 95 rating. The Wine Enthusiast and Beverage Tasting Institute Annual French Wine Competition. "Leather, tar and black cherry nuances define a fragrant bouquet which leads to a full-bodied and supple mouthfeel. Solidly structured with earthy black fruit flavors that go on and on." It has been elsewhere described as a "sensational expression replete with woodsy elements, tobacco, exotic spices, and black fruits. Still growing, it is destined to be a classic of the appellation."

Le Mas des Collines now offers a Côtes du Rhône, from the estate of M. Taxis du Poet, le beau-fils et maintenant le propriètaire du Domaine le Mas des Collines, in Lagarde-Pareol next to Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes. It has become in demand from our gamme of Côtes du Rhône, as tasting notes suggest:

Côtes du Rhone rouge 1990. This is a "wine bursting with black cherry and herb-spice aroma, a richly textured wine of long, telling aftertaste."


Domaine de Montvac


The Domaine de Montvac is very well known in France and indeed throughout the Common Market. As with many of our domaines, J et R is the only importer of this domaine's wines into the United States. Robert Mayberry has been extolling this domaine in his writings, so that may not last. At the moment, however, you have the opportunity to enjoy a wine that persons nowhere else in the United States have available.

The 1987 Montvac was selected as the best 1987 Vacqueyras at the 1988 Fête de Vacqueyras. Robert Mayberry, author of Wines of the Rhône Valley, was on the head jury that selected this wine. In his book, he says Dusserre's wines are "clean, well balanced, and complexly fragrant, tending toward flowers, 'sous-bois,' and truffles, with a very deep berry fruit."

Vacqueyras rouge 1990, cuvée Vincila. "This is the first of a special, old-vines cuvée that J et R has imported. A stunner, it has all the Byzantine incense and sandalwood perfumes of Montvac distilled into a super-concentrated presentation. A complete Vacqueyras."

Vacqueyras rouge 1993. A Guide Hachette "coup de coeur". "The Mathes-represented Montvac is among the top Vacqueyras domaines. In the 1993 style, this wine features forward, rangy aromatic appeal, with lots of berry impressions and spice-herb-flower attractions of the 'garrigue.' On the palate, the wine is soft and plump. Flows easy already."

Vacqueyras rouge 1988. Sure to be a major player in Vacqueyras in years to come is Jean Dusserre whose vibrantly assertive Vacqueyras is sure to please many. Restraint in the use of wood and a superb vintage has enabled Dusserre's syrah-dominated effort to exude striking berry fruit and an engaging pepperiness. An exceptional value here!

Vacqueyras rouge 1989. Jean Dusserre makes the sort of strikingly rich wine for which Vacqueyras has become famous. His syrah-dominated efforts see little if any oak contact to retain superb structure and a purity of fruit definition. All comes to the fore in the Montvac '89 Vacqueyras. It oozes black cherry and blueberry fruit which is accented with peppery elements. Very enjoyable already.


Domaine Canto Perdrix


Although Robert Parker has not written about this estate's wines in The Wine Advocate, he ordered two cases of the Canto Perdrix Tavel rosé from J et R Selections (through a retail outlet) for his own cellar.

Tavel rosé 1992. Outstanding Rhone rosé expression of this, the premier rosé AOC in France. Vibrant raspberry and peppery flavors mark this lovely effort. Offers ample refreshment but with enough intensity to match hearty fare.

Previous tasting notes:

Tavel rosé 1990. Andre Mejan's Tavel is fast becoming the standard for Rhone rosé expression. Berry laden, its bright, spicy bite offers perfect refreshment as well as further focusing its fruit statement.

Tavel rosé 1987. Resisting the urge to employ syrah, owner Andre Méjan seeks the more delicate side of Tavel. This first-class example of the world's greatest rose is a steal by today's standards. Deep copper. Warm and charming. Fine pepper expression balanced by a crisp, clean berry fruit. Forthright charm. Classic Tavel vinosity with a tingling edge. Superb rose expression.


Domaine les Girasols

Rasteau & Côtes du Rhône

As all Village wines, this estate is on the slopes of a hill (this is the primary distinction between the hectares of a Côtes du Rhône and a Côtes du Rhône Village). The area is especially thick with genet, so the heavy perfume of genet pervades the vineyards in the spring and early summer. This perhaps accounts for the distinctive bouquet of these wines.

The estate uses the five primary cépages of the Côtes du Rhône: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan. Built on a small colline, the estate uses gravity vinification so that no pumping is necessary to transfer the wine from the fermentation tanks to the storage tanks. The fermentation is that of a traditional Côtes du Rhône, with the stems left on the grapes.

Rasteau rouge 1988. Médaille d'Or à Orange en 89
Médaille de Bronze à Macon en 90
Médaille d'Or en Blayais Bourgeais en 90
Médaille d'Argent (Concours régional)

In the Wine Advocate, Robert Parker said the 1986 Girasols Rasteau was "extremely well made, velvety, expansively flavored with rich, peppery, sweet plummy fruit."

Typical tasting notes include:

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1986. Medium ruby./ Big and expansive. Slight reduction elements on the nose. Fine ripe-fruit fragrances./ Strawberries and raspberries dominate with ample spice tones as a backup. Big and solid. Has some tannin yet but a lot to like already. Silver medal - Macon '88.

Côtes du Rhône, Cuvée Malalangue rouge 1988. The Malalangue cuvée includes old-vine carignane. Striking peppery elements add focus and verve to the forward raspberry elements. Fine winemaking here. The 1988 Côtes du Rhône, Cuvée Malalangue, received a Wine Advocate 85 rating.


Domaine du Grand Chêne


The Domaine du Grand Chêne is unknown in the United States, but is listed as a leading producer of Cairanne in The Wines of the Rhône by Livingstone-Learmonth and Master. Although Cairanne is a very well known C-d-R Village wine, few producers bottle their own wine in this village appellation (instead, they rely on the cooperative).

Cairanne rouge 1988. This wine is described as "a ripe assertive Cairanne. Deep ruby-purple. Nice punch of whole-berry fermentation scents. Classic Provenšal-herb fragrances. Big and smooth with prominent skin tannins. Juicy. Fine future here."

The wines of Domaine du Grand Chêne are very ripe, but age extremely well. J et R Selections is fortunate to have in inventory a few cases of the 1985 Cairanne. After eight years, it just now is coming into its own.


Domaine Beau Mistral

Rasteau & Côtes du Rhône

A domaine new to the J et R repertoire, it is surely a find and every bit as good as the most famous Rasteau reds, especially its Rasteau Village. J et R is the first and so far the only importer of this domaine into the U.S.

The son has now taken over the estate, and has elevated the quality of the wines to the top level. The wines suddenly have received rave reviews in the French wine books.

Rasteau rouge 1990. This Rasteau "offers a verve, concentration and expression reminiscent of famed Rasteaus." You will be amazed at the life of this wine -- a half bottle corked will be even better after 2 or 3 days, without the slightest hint of oxidation. The cépages are 30% syrah, 15% mourvedre, 40% grenache veille vignes, 5% carignan, and 10% cinsault.

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1990. This as a spitting image of the Rasteau: "Like the Rasteau, it has a rich and fine elderberry aroma--a unique aroma I haven't experienced in as clear and pungent a statement in any other wine of Rhone-Meridionale. Does it come from mourvedre? A combination of mourvedre and syrah? Or reductive winemaking? Anyway, I love it; it's very cool--the opposite of many '90s, which can be too warm and ripe for my tastes."


Domaine Chaumes-Arnaud


This is a new domaine in our rayon des domaines. It has the some of the best vines in Vinsobres, old vines on the southward slopes of the hills rising to the north from D94 and the Aigue river. The estate now is run by the daughter and her husband, and so has started bottling its own wines rather than selling them to negotiants. The elder generation in many areas of the Cotes du Rhone, now reaching retirement, usually sold in bulk to negotiants rather than invest in their own bottling facilities. The new generation of vignobles are bottling their own wines.

We had been searching for an outstanding Vinsobres to complete our rayon of Côtes du Rhône Village estates. This is it. J et R was the first U.S. importer, although a West Coast importer has selected it.

Vinsobres rouge 1993.

Vinsobres rouge 1990. The Village Corner Wine Catalog says this Chaumes-Arnaud delivers a "vitality and charm in refreshing contrast to the often robust thrust of Vinsobres." The cepages of the Vinsobres vary slightly from year to year: grenache 30 to 35%, syrah around 30%, mourvedre from 15 to 25%, and some cinsault and cournoise.


Domaine de L'Oratoire Saint-Martin


In his Wines of the Rhone Valley and Provence:, Robert Parker says "the top estates and best three wines from Cairanne are the Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint-Martin, Domaine Brusset, and Domaine Rabasse-Charavin. The Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint-Martin produces a big, intense, chocolatey, spicy wine." The wines of this domaine are bottled without filtration and are "pure, concentrated, richly fruity wines that are ideal for drinking within their first 5-6 years" (The Wine Advocate).

Cairanne rouge 1994, cuvée Prestige. Giving it an 90 rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker says "a knock-out, from 100 year old Grenached vines and old Mourvèdre vines, full-bodied, rich, authoritatively-flavored with excellent color saturation, a big, sweet, jammy nose of black fruits, kirsch, and roasted herbs. Full-bodied and dense."

Cairanne rouge 1994 cuvée Réserve des Seigneurs. Giving it an 87 rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker says "extremely well-made, rich, concentrated, and flavorful with considerable personality, jammy red and black fruit aromas, along with smoked herbs and garrigue scents. Medium-bodied, richly fruity, and velvety-textured."

Cairanne rouge 1993, cuvée Prestige. Giving it an 89 rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker says "it is a dead-ringer for a top Châteauneuf du Pape. The wine offers a penetrating bouquet of new saddle leather, black fruits, pepper, herbs, and truffles. Deep, full-bodied and supple, with layers of fruit, it should drink well for 7-8 years. Impressive! Made from 100-year old vines, of which 60% are Mourvèdre." The Prestige cuvée has a very limited production; J et R is allotted 85 cases a year.

Cairanne rouge 1993 cuvée Réserve des Seigneurs. Giving it an 87 rating in The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker says this "reveals a saturated dark ruby/purple color, a big, juicy, black-cherry, herb, and peppery-scented nose, supple, medium to full-bodied flavors, and a long, heady finish. Its forwardness and charm are noteworthy."


Domaine de la Tourade

Côtes du Rhône

Domaine de la Tourade is a Gigondas estate that J et R Selections first imported in 1987. It has Gigondas and Vacqueyras as well as Côtes du Rhône cuvées.

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1991. Although rather one-dimensional but with a typical grenache bouquet and spice, it has its fans at Rhône tastings. This vintage was described as "red-ruby colored, with a bright aroma range of apple, berry, and Provenšal herbes, spices, and flowers. Its fruit aroma is sweet and plump. The palate confirms a soft, agreeable, and well balanced wine, delicious at this stage of development."

Tourade vintages cellar very well. Our library includes some 1983s and 1984s that are showing very nicely in 1993. The style of Tourade usually is ripe and forward, somewhat similar to a Cairanne, the village appelation that adjoins Tourade's hectares on the Plan de Dieu.


Domaine du Val des Rois

Valréas & Côtes du Rhône

Domaine du Val des Rois produces a Valréas Côtes du Rhône Village and a Côtes du Rhone. Valréas is the northernmost méridionale Rhône wine, and the cooler climate in part accounts for the Beaune-like characteristic of this wine. This vinification is not surprising, since the propriétaire, Romaine Bouchard, is the eighth generation of one of the oldest winemaking families of Burgundy -- no doubt you have enjoyed the burgundies of Bouchard et Fils.

In his book, Wines of the Rhone, Robert M. Parker Jr. calls Domaine du Val des Rois "the top private domaine" of Valréas. Parker praises its wines highly: "I find it among the most elegant of the Côtes du Rhône-Villages wines."

Valréas rouge 1992: The 1992 is full bodied with considerable fruit, Bouchard's best Valréas since I began importing it with the 1987.

Recent tasting notes in The Wine Advocate include:

Valréas rouge 1990 (87 rating): Excellent, with an herbal, peppery, spicy, rich nose, medium to full-bodied flavors, fine extraction of flavor (gobs of black cherries), and a long, moderately tannic finish. It is a surprisingly big yet well-balanced Côtes du Rhône for drinking over the next 5-7 years.

Côtes du Rhône Cuvée des Rois rouge 1989 (85 rating): Offers an enticing cherry and raspberry fruitiness, medium ruby color, velvety-textured, ripe cherry fruit, and a generous finish.

Valréas 1990 (rating 87-88) and 1989 (rating 85) rouge. Romain Bouchard has a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the best wines from the Côtes du Rhône villages appellation. The 1990 is excellent, with a big, peppery, spicy, rich nose, medium to full-bodied flavors, fine extraction of flavor and a long, moderately tannic finish. It is a surprisingly big yet well-balanced Côtes du Rhône for drinking over the next 5-7 years. The 1989 is similarly styled, although lighter. Those who like their Côtes du Rhône more elegant, and less robust and muscular may prefer the 1989. It is soft, opulently fruity, and ideal for drinking over the next 2-4 years.


Domaine les Aussellons

Vinsobres & Côtes du Rhône The 1985 Côtes du Rhône received a silver medal at Macon.
The 1986 Côtes du Rhône received a gold medal at Macon.

In Wines of the Rhône Valley and Provence, Robert Parker praises Domaine les Aussellons as a leading domaine: "Domaine les Aussellons has been converting quite a few wine enthusiasts to its richly scented, ageworthy wine that has been racking up medals at the French wine fairs. The proprietor, M. Ezingeard, is a perfectionist."

1985 Vinsobres rouge 1985. This vintage is described as "a wine of power with finesse. Medium ruby. Striking berry fragrance with a supporting cast of wood, spice, and earth tones. Sweet and appealing. Soft and expansive. Fine berry statement."

1986 Vinsobres rouge 1986. This vintage is describedas: "Medium ruby. Striking berry statement with a supporting cast of wood, spice and earth tones. Sweet and appealing. Soft and expansive. Fine berry statement. At its peak."

The domaine Vinsobres is rather straight-forward in the typical Vinsobre style, which is much like a Lirac. The Côtes du Rhône of the domaine, however, is exceptional -- quite unlike most other Côtes du Rhône. The distinctive spice and pepper of this wine make it a favorite of those who appreciate an atypical Côtes du Rhône.

Côtes du Rhône rouge 1985. "A strikingly rich 'generique' offering from grapes grown in the nearby commune of Villedieu. Lightly wooded, the wine offers an impressive array of flavors which include smoke, spice and berry elements."


Domaine de la Grangette Saint-Joseph

Côtes du Rhône

This wine is the favorite of many for a tannic, traditionally styled Côtes du Rhône well worth putting down. The cépage is almost exclusively grenache from vines ranging from 30 to 70 years of age. The famous storm of 1992 in the Vaucluse destroyed the 1992 harvest and some of the vines (while Domaine de l'Espigouette 1 km nearby escaped unscathed). J et R now features the 1990 vintage, which has just been released. Because of its aging quality, Grangette does not release its vintages as early as other domaines do. Your penalty for this is a slight increase in price (after one year in the bottle, the French government taxes all bottled stock in a domaine's cave -- this accounts for a routine $2-$3/case increase FOB for any vintage each year from the cave).

Côtes du Rhone rouge 1990. "From the Plan de Dieu, it possesses a sleekness and sophistication uncommon in much of the Cotes du Rhone while yielding an enticing floral and blueberry impact."

Côtes du Rhone rouge 1988. "Monique Tramier's 50 hectare vineyard lies on the famed Plan de Dieu where some of Côte du Rhône's finest estates reside. Planted mainly to grenache, Grangette's '88 offers the sophisticated side of Côtes du Rhone. Superbly structured, it has evolved into a lovely Côtes du Rhone marked by aristocratic portrayals of spice, chocolate, blueberry and cherry tones."


Domaine Mireille et Vincent

Côtes du Rhône

If you have the good fortune to dine at the Rowe Inn in Ellsworth, Michigan, written up in the New York Times and with a Wine Spectator wine list, you often will have the opportunity to have Mireille et Vincent by the glass. Wes Westhoven, the proprietor, visited the Rhone with me last year and was ecstatic over this wine (influenced, no doubt, by the tremendous truffle omelet we were served for déjeuner).

An important point about this estate is that the wines are organic. M. et Mme. Bizard furnish laboratory certificates of analysis to demonstrate that their wine has no trace of chemicals. In their vineyards, they use only natural fertilizers and they use traditional techniques without the use of herbicides.

Their vinification, however, uses the most modern and sophisticated technology, with temperature-controlled fermentation. The harvest is by hand, so that only the best grapes are used. They are lightly pressed and then put in the fermentation tank with the stems intact, the traditional Côtes du Rhône technique. The reds have two cuvées: one aged in enamel vats; a second in oak barrels. Usually, we prefer the barrel-aged cuvée.

The wines can be consumed young, but have the structure and tannin to age well. They are noteworthy for their fruit and elegance. The cépage is 75% grenache, 15% carignan, 5% syrah, and 5% cinsault. The average age of the vines is 25 years, with the carignan vines over 50 years old.

Côtes du Rhône 1991 rouge. This has been described as an "elegant red wine, an excellent alternative to California merlots. At its price, you can afford to serve it with simple stews or soups on a weeknight. It also is sufficiently balanced and complex to serve on a special occasion."

Côtes du Rhône 1990 rouge. A "Best Buy" in his The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker rates this vintage an 85: "This delicious, peppery and raspberry-scented and flavored, soft as silk Côtes du Rhône makes for a generous mouthful of wine. Its uncomplicated, lust fruitiness, velvety texture, and heady finish are all that a Côtes du Rhône should be." Another review says "it is a superb wine and a super value. A delightful mix of strawberries and black raspberries and violets, it is bright, lively, elegant, and enticing. Great upfront appeal."


Les Vignerons du Mont Ventoux

Côtes du Ventoux

Splendidly located at the foot of Mont Ventoux, le géant de Provence, which shelters the vineyards of its members from the mistral, this cooperative is blessed with one of the most respected wine makers in France, Claude Pigaglio. He annually goes to China, sponsored by the French government, to teach the fledgling Chinese wine growers how to make wine. Of its many cuvées, J et R Selections imports the 3 Messes Basses rouge and the blanc de blancs.

The 3 Messes Basses rouge is acclaimed by Chris Cook, the wine columnist for The Detroit Free Press, as "more sophisticated and elegant than La Vielle Ferme: it has the power and feistiness of many other Rhônes but is much softer and more unctuous. It is a little more than medium-bodied, and has a lingering, pleasant aftertaste."

Côtes du Ventoux, 3 Messes Basses rouge 1993. "This highly respected union of growers at the base of Mt. Ventoux has always produced a prodigious, serious wine which requires aging. The '93 is no exception. Its tannins are ripe and fine-grained and ample enough to guard the spicy, red fruits for the next 2-4 years.

Côtes du Ventoux, 3 Messes Basses rouge 1990. We import this rouge of the cooperative's six reds because it has the most structure--it is "plus charpente," as M. Pigaglio described it to us. A "Best Buy" in his Wine Advocate, Robert Parker rates this vintage an 85: "This delicious cuvée offers attractive herbal, peppery, soft, medium-bodied flavors, and a spicy, heady finish. It is a delicious wine for drinking over the next 1-2 years" (10-26-93 issue). J et R recently imported the last of the 1990 which we had had reserved for several years.

Côtes du Ventoux Blanc des Blancs 1993. This white typically is fresh and fruity, quite unlike a typical tart, even acidic Côtes du Ventoux white. This wine typically is "Light straw. Bright and tingling. Fine mix of apple and citric scents. Surprising fatness and depth for a Ventoux. Very well done."


Les Roches Blanches

Côtes du Ventoux

Les Roches Blanches (Mormoiron) and Les Vignerons du Ventoux (Bédoin) are the only two cave coopératives in our repertoire; all of our other offerings are private domaines. In appellation contrôlée Côtes du Ventoux, however, most of the production is by the caves coopératives of the villages in the appellation.

A cave coopérative can produce excellent wine that is similar to estate-bottled wine in that the grapes come from a specifically designated area. Thus the wine acquires its own distinctive characteristics due to soil, microclimate, etc. A cave coopérative wine should be distinguished from a négociant wine, which can be made from grapes or blended from wines anywhere in its appellation. J et R Selections does not deal with négociant wines; we purchase directly from private estates or, as in the case of these two Côtes du Ventoux cooperatives, where the wine is actually produced and bottled.

Cuvée Syrah rouge 1988. We have had quite a success with this distinctive cuvée. Two years ago this vintage was described as "tight and firm yet but ample black pepper and spice elements still push through. The fruit is cherry oriented. A mouthful of wine. Prominently tannic yet but another year will allow it to fill out sufficiently." Now the wine is succulent and drinking well.


Chateau Valcombe

Côtes du Ventoux

Due to be one of the premier estates of Côtes du Ventoux, Chateau Valcombe's propriétaire-recoltant is M. Claude Fonquerle, who is the winemaker for Domaine Père Caboche, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. He purchased an estate in Côtes du Ventoux and now is launching out on his own while still fabricating the wine for Domaine Père Caboche.

The 1990 was fabricated at those cellars in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but starting with the 1991 vintage the wines of Chateau Valcombe will be fabricated in new cellars just being completed on the plain below St. Pierre de Vassols in the Comtat just southwest of Bédoin.

Côtes du Ventoux rouge 1990. As the winemaker from Père Caboche in Châteauneuf du Pape, stringent attempts are made to retard any oxidative intrusions into the wine. "Medium-deep purple. Fresh raspberry fragrances. Crisp and racy with high-toned spice scents. A bit of the 'garrigue.' Sleek and nervy. Seems syrah dominated. Fine mix of red fruits and chocolate flavors."


Château de l'Isolette

Côtes du Luberon

The wines of Château de l'Isolette in France always are rated among the best if not the best of the Côtes du Luberon wines. The wines have received over 60 gold and silver medals since 1971 in both regional and national concours of wine. The highly respected annual Guide Hachette des Vins and the Gault Millau Le Vin can be counted on to list several wines of Château de l'Isolette annually.

M. Luc Pinatel and his daughter, Laure, propriètaires of the estate, are of a family of vignerons that dates to 1536. The estate consists of more than 100 hectares, with rouge cépages of syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, carignan, and cinsault and blanc cépages of clairette, roussane, cinsault, and carignan.

According to Robert Parker, one of the finest estates in the appelation, with smooth stylish but sturdy and deep wines with textures soft enough for current enjoyment with ageworthy prestige cuvées.

Côtes du Luberon rouge 1990.

Médaille d'Or Concours des Vins d'Orange
Médaille d'Or Concours des Vins National de Blayais en Bourgeais
Médaille d'Or Concours General Agricole à Paris
Médaille d'Or Concours des Vins de Caves Particulières
Médaille d'Argent Concours International des Vins à Blayais en Bourgeais
Grand Prix d'Excellence Concours des Vinalies

Côtes du Luberon rouge 1992. The 1992 rouge Prestige won a gold medal and awarded best in show of all French wines at the prestigious 1994 Paris wine fair.

Côtes du Luberon blanc 1993. The 1993 blanc won a gold medal at the same fair. Chateau de l'Isolette won 2 of the 3 gold medals won by all of the Cotes du Rhone region wines.


Domaine du Vieux Chêne

Côtes du Rhône Village
Côtes du Rhône

A new domaine for J et R, a very famous Côtes du Rhône domaine formerly imported by an East Coast importer that fallen on difficult times. We now have the domaine. We have been visiting this domaine since we began importing, and seized the opportunity to be its U.S. importer.

In his Wines of the Rhone Valley and Provence:, Robert Parker says the Domaine du Vieux Chêne "has always been one of my favorite sources for very good Côtes du Rhione. Their two cuvées represent different styles of wine. The Cuvée des Capucines is a deliciously fruity, round, berry-scented, plump wine that goes down very easily. The Cuvée de la Haie aux Grives is excellent--black ruby in color with a rich, complex bouquet of pepper and cassis, full-bodied, broadly flavored, and quite long. It has more syrah in the blend."

Côtes du Rhone rouge 1994, cuvée Haie aux Grives. "Bigger and more perfumed than all of the other '94 Cotes du Rhones. Deep-seated berry flavors. Compelling in its distinctive garrigue (Provenšal herbs) elements. The sophistication of this cuvee runs much higher than one expects from the appellation."

Côtes du Rhone rouge 1994, cuvée Capucines. "Again just brilliant efforts from Vieux Chene. Capucines, always the more forward of the two cuvees, delivers well defined aspects of ripe cherries, blackberries and anise. It already has a very fetching demeanor."

Côtes du Rhone rouge 1993, cuvée Haie aux Grives. The Wine Enthusiast and Beverage Tasting Institute Annual French Wine Competition Silver Medal and Cellar Selection 84 rating: "Medium full body, medium acid. Cranberry, red plums, allspice, leather. Deep, broad texture. Loads of wood spices complement rich, chewy fruit. Ample tannins warrant cellaring."

Côtes du Rhone Village blanc 1992. Rich golden luster, a lush tropical fruit/honeysuckle perfume, a hint of genêt, a full creamy honey almond palate that lingers. Made from old vines of picpoul and grenache blanc.


Domaine Mathieu


The Wine Advocate, Number 71 (10-4-90):
1989 Châteauneuf du Pape blanc (rating 86). I was pleasantly surprised by the deliciously fresh, fruity, floral scented, medium to full-bodied 1989 white Châteauneuf du Pape from Domaine Mathieu, a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Clairette, and the balance Picpoul and Bourboulenc. Like the great majority of white Châteauneuf du Papes, it should be drunk over the next year.

1988, 1989 Châteauneuf du Pape rouge (ratings 86, 85-86). The red wines were very good. Made from a blend of 80% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault, and 7% Syrah, they are made in a more forward, fruity style without the body or tannin necessary for long aging. The 1989 red Châteauneuf du Pape has a big, spicy, jammy, richly fruity bouquet, soft tannins, medium body, low acidity, and will be best consumed over the next 4-7 years. While the 1988 is not as big as the 1989, it may turn out to be a better wine. It has a wonderfully seductive, soft, expansive, even sweet tasting palate, a cedary, cassis-scented bouquet, and a long, elegant finish. Its soft texture suggests that it should be consumed over the next 4-5 years.

The Wine Advocate, Number 77 (10-14-91):
1990 Châteauneuf du Pape rouge (rating 87-88) and 1989 Châteauneuf du Pape rouge (rating 87) These offerings from proprietor Charles Mathieu are jammy, spicy, richly fruity wines with soft tannins, good glycerin and alcohol, low acid, and an element of sur-maturité. They are not candidates for long term cellaring, but for drinking over their first 7-8 years of life, they have appeal. The 1990 offers explosive cherry aromas, and a powerful combination of chewy fruit, alcohol, and tannin. I would opt for drinking this soft, low acid wine over the next 10 years in spite of its brute strength. The 1989 exhibits an intense aromatic character, suggesting spicy, herbaceous-scented raspberries, and smoky tobacco. In the mouth, it is deep, round, and sweet. This is a wine for hedonists-obvious but enjoyable. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.


Domaine Jean Raphet


J et R Selections, because of our good reputation in the Côtes du Rhône, was referred to a small burgundy estate in the Côtes du Nuits by Domaine du Pégau; the two estates exchange their chateauneufs and burgundies for their personal cellars. Quelle bonne chance! Eight outstanding estate bottled burgundies.

Domaine Jean Raphet Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
Domaine Jean Raphet Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru
Domaine Jean Raphet Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
Domaine Jean Raphet Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru
Domaine Jean Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St-Jacques 1er Cru
Domaine Jean Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin
Domaine Jean Raphet Morey-Saint-Denis
Domaine Jean Raphet Chambolle Musigny

All of these wines are featured at the Rowe Inn in Ellsworth, Michigan, with the Wine Spectator award of Grand Excellence for its wine list and rave reviews in the New York Times for its food. Madeleine Triffand selected Jean Raphet for the list at the famous Rattlesnake Club in Detroit; it was immediately chosen by The Earle in Ann Arbor, another Wine Spectator award of Grand Excellence wine list restaurant.

Currently in inventory:
Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru 1991
Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St-Jacques 1er Cru 1992Domaine Jean Morey-Saint-Denis 1992
Gevrey-Chambertin 1990

Gevrey-Chambertin 1990. The Wine Enthusiast and Beverage Tasting Institute Annual French Wine Competition Silver Medal (85 rating): "Medium body and acid. Cherry, mocha, mushrooms. Tart fruit flavors tinged with floral hints and mild wood. Lovely balance and a warm finish."


Domaine Eddie Feraud

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1993. Robert Parker Wine Advocate 86: "Eddie Feraud's 1993 is an old style, musty wine with high tannin, as well as considerable roughness and astringency. Nevertheless, the wine's fine richness and intensity pulls it into the very good category."


Domaine du Grand Tinel

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1993. Robert Parker Wine Advocate 86: "Monolithic, flavorful, rustic and closed, the 1993 exhibits a dark ruby color, vague whiffs of Provenšal herbs, pepper, and black-cherry fruit. Medium to full-bodied, with noticeably hard tannin, and good depth."

Châteauneuf du Pape rouge 1994. Robert Parker Wine Advocate 87-88: "Pungent, earthy, peppery, jammy nose, and opulent, full-bodied, generous flavors. From a hedonistic perspective, this is an obvious, fleshy, in-your-face style of Châteauneuf du Pape that is typical of many of the wines from this sun-drenched and wind-swept area of Provence."


8 avril 1996