Jean-Paul Daumen took over from his father in 1992 and has since become one of the most revered, inventive and respected producers in France. He is a thoughtful, intelligent and deeply caring vigneron, managing the beautiful estate of Domaine de le Vieille Julienne like a philosopher or poet. Daumen farms 10ha of biodynamic Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with an average vine age of 70 years. There is a stonethrow distance between his Châteauneuf-du-Pape & Côtes du Rhône appellations (3 meters to be precise), so it is not a surprise to Rhône lovers that both display the power and structure the region’s best wines are known for.
A true “wow” wine, the deep, concentrated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Hauts-Lieux (there's 20% Mourvèdre) offers awesome notes of blackcurrants, smoked meats, graphite, crushed rocks, and licorice. Extraordinarily concentrated, perfectly balanced, structured, and long, it's another sensational wine from this estate. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will cruise for 15-20 after that. Rating: 99 Points; Jeb Dunnuck
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