Domaine Vieille Julienne, Southern Rhone


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Jean Paul Daumen


Jean Paul Daumen, owner and winemaker of Domaine de la Vieille Julienne,

works his 37 acres of vines biodynamically—he was one of the first in the area to go that way, back in 2000. Daumen hasn't changed his vinification much either. Instead, he's changed his cuvées around, as his philosophy on how to express Châteauneuf has evolved. Daumen changed his cuvées in the 2010 vintage and both they and the 2011 were among the best wines of the vintage. Jean Paul Daumen is a totally driven man. He will sacrifice anything for quality in his wines. All his wines are labours of love. He uses small 225 litre barrels from Bordeaux resulting in wines with an ideal stylistic compromise between modern and traditional. From 2003 he decided to stop making his Parker 100 point Vieilles Vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape and mixed this in with his basic cuvée which has improved it further still and helps consolidate his domaine as one of the finest in the region. Jean-Paul's philosophy is 'what is essential is the vine and the soil' and so has chosen ecological viticulture. He abandons fertilisers and chemicals, and uses sulphur sparingly. The grapes are hand harvested and sorted twice. Indigenous yeasts are employed and the fermentation temperature controlled. The wines are gravity fed into barrels where they age for a year after malolactic fermentation has taken place. Bottling takes place without fining or filtration.