Vin de France "Liberty" 2015

Product Line: 

2015 is the first vintage of this new project that Julien made with friend Yannick Alliaud. They found a very old-vine parcel located at 125 meters above sea-level in Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, planted just after WWII. The soils very similar to La Crau in Châteauneuf-du-Pape: layers of sand, clay, and the famous galets stones found in Châteauneuf.  In addition, the vines are goblet-trained, which protects the fruit from the sun.  

A strict sorting ensured the best fruit from this already low-yielding parcel. The wine was made in the old gravity-fed cellar built in 1930, with cement tanks built into the floor.  The wine spent four weeks on the skins with ripe whole clusters and then aged in old foudres and some new demi-muids for 18 months. Bottled without fining or filtration. 

(90-92) points
"A new wine from Julien, his 2015 Vin de France comes mostly from a parcel of 65-year-old vines planted in a cooler, higher elevation parcel. In addition, it includes some of his declassified Châteauneuf du Pape grapes, hence the Vin de France label and not Côtes du Rhône (Châteauneuf du Pape is one of the few appellations that cannot be declassified to Côtes du Rhône). Made from 55% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault and Carignan, it tastes like a Châteauneuf du Pape with its juicy black raspberry, violets, peppery herbs and distinct minerality. This comparison is certainly still valid on the palate, as well and its medium to full-bodied, concentrated and structured, with a sappy, grippy style that will evolve nicely for 7-8 years or more. Don’t let the Vin de France label sway you, this is the real deal."
Jeb Dunnuck,
Wine Advocate
, October 2016