Summer’s ripe flavorful fruit can be found in a glass of the 2005 Chateau de Jau Cotes du Roussillon Villages.
While Roussillon is part of France’s Lanquedoc region, its history is tied to Spain and Catalonia, as it was ruled for centuries from Majorca and Aragon. The Pyrenees mountains divide France from Spain and give Roussillon its hillside vineyards, like those owned by the Daure family of Chateau du Jau.
Beginning in 1974, the Daures have worked the rugged soil establishing Chateau de Jau as one of the top Roussillon wineries. Winemaker Estelle Daure produces a basic red and rose wine under the label Le Jaja de Jau; two dessert wines, Grand Roussillon and Muscat de Rivesaltes, under Chateau de Jau; and Cotes du Roussillon Villages, which, under French wine law, must be red.
Befitting its southern position and on the Mediterranean border with Spain, Roussillon is the sunniest area in France. Excellent vineyards, constant sunshine and dry weather give winemaker Daure the perfect combination for obtaining ripe fruit for her Cotes du Roussillon Villages wine.
The 2005 vintage is made from 48 percent Syrah, 30 percent Mourvedre, 10 percent Grenache Noir and 12 percent Carignan. Each is vinified separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, aged in vats and blended and bottled without oak aging. This process preserves Grenache’s and Carignan’s cherry color and high acidity, Mourvedre’s pronounced blackberry character, and Syrah’s elegant texture and rich plum-like flavor.
Winemaker Daure’s wise decision to have 78-percent of the wine composed of Mourvedre and Syrah gives consumers two grapes known for creating the intensely flavorful Rhone wines Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Hermitage, and Cote-Rotie.
Blending Mourvedre and Syrah with the lighter and tarter Carignan and Grenache Noir yields a Chateau de Jau 2005 Cotes du Roussillon Villages with black cherry color, medium body, enticing blackberry and black licorice aroma and flavor, and balanced tannins. This is a wine that captures the sun-filled fruit and delivers it to you at a remarkably good price.
Try a glass of the 2005 Chateau de Jau Cotes du Roussillon Villages with fresh-grilled tuna coated with tapenade, or slice the grilled tuna and serve it with a salad of Nicoise olives, garden-picked string beans, grilled eggplant, grilled red onion, flat leaf spinach and a mustard vinaigrette. You’ll be closer to southern France.
The 2005 Chateau de Jau Cotes du Roussillon Villages retails for approximately $14.