Jamet's 2018 Cotes du Rhone is 100% Syrah from Ampuis. It boasts the seductive floral and fruity aromas of the IGP Syrah—violets, blueberries and raspberries—but with a bit more weight and texture. It shows remarkable purity in a medium to full-bodied, velvety wine, with flavors that linger elegantly on the finish. It really is a baby Côte Rôtie, yet it's capable of putting some Côte Rôties to shame. Good thing, as the price for the 2016 (a lesser vintage) is creeping up past $50 in the United States. When his brother Jean-Luc Jamet went his own way with half of the family vineyards, Jean-Paul continued working in the existing winery above the town of Ampuis. It's always a treat to visit him there, getting a barrel-tasting tour of Côte Rôtie's numerous lieux-dits. Jean-Paul says 2018 is an excellent year, "very ripe yet with supple tannins and good freshness." He contrasts that to 2017, which he says is "a solar year with surprising elegance." As he sums up, "For me, 2018 is magnificent but perhaps a bit southern. In 2017, you know you're in the Northern Rhône." Jamet describes 2016 as "une belle expression de Syrah—classique." To illustrate his point that warm vintages aren't a threat to Côte Rôtie, Jamet poured a couple of older wines from hot years. Both the 2009 and 1989 Côte Rôties were singing. The '89 he compared to the '18, calling it, "fumé, lardé, épicé." He concluded, "I'm confident in hot vintages, because with time, the terroir emerges." (JC)
Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Fresh dark berry and floral pastille aromas are complemented by hints of black pepper and licorice. Juicy and supple in style, offering energetic blackberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that firm up on the back half. The long, smooth, subtly sweet finish features harmonious tannins and a touch of smokiness. (JR)
Juicy, soft and approachable vintage, much deeper and more interesting than their IGP Syrah. Depth and ripeness, plenty of immediate enjoyment. 100% Syrah, grown high on the top slopes of Côte-Rôtie and its borders, matured only in 10+-year-old barrels. Drinking Window 2020 - 2022. (MW)
Still in tank, the 2018 Côtes du Rhône has a juicy, complex, medium-bodied style offering lovely notes of black cherries, mint, tobacco, game, and hints of green olives. Drink this elegant, lively red over the coming 4-5 years.
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