Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wine Blog Wednesday #16

2003 le jaja de jau


For the 16th version of Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted by Derrick at "An Obsession with Food (and Wine)", the theme is "Judging a Wine by Its Label". For the wrap-up of all the entries visit his site in a few days or hours.

This label/wine caught my eye at the local supermarket amongst a thousand other labels while I was gathering groceries for last Saturday's dinner. I put it in the basket soley on the label as I had never heard of this producer before. It is a Syrah/Grenache (60/40) blend from the Pyrennes area in France. I was expecting a smoky, big fruit wine with good tannins and a short to medium finish. I have no idea how to pronounce it. The back label suggested that it be served well-chilled which should have been a clue as to what I was about to taste.

The cork is a two piece synthetic type which is great for golf balls, but not my choice for wine. The color is pale red; earthy/cherry nose (more Grenache than Syrah); somewhat abrupt finish; a bit thin for my liking. I wanted to like this wine because I liked the label and applaud their decision to stay away from cute animals, but I think there are many other better $10 wines out there. The $9 Cuvee de Pena comes immediately to mind! I would probably not re-order.

I paired with my chili for dinner and as expected it did not hold up well, although the remnants of the 2001 Santa Duc Heritage (which is 100% Grenache) saved the day. The "Jaja" did open up later and and was less tight but I would overall peg it as a young, fresh simple "vin de pay" or table wine. If I tried it again, I would chill it and drink in the warmer months.

The following is from the website:

The estate spans the villages of Cases de Pêne, Estagel, and Tautavel, occupying 134 cultivated hectares planted in eleven classic Mediterranean varietals. The magnificent hillside vineyards were completely revitalized by removing neglected vines and cumbersome stone.

The vineyards of the
Château de Jau were painstakingly revitalized by ripping up the old neglected vineyards and crushing the stone upturned in the process. The rebuilding of the vineyards at Château de Jau, overseen by winemaker Estelle Dauré, represents some of the most ambitious and exciting work undertaken in the Roussillon in the last twenty years. This revitalization has allowed the Dauré family to create the incredible wines produced today.

What does "JAJA" mean?:
"Jaja" is a slang for the region's delicious full-flavored, everyday wines. It is the house selection in local bistros and restaurants. The Label was designed by Benjamin Vauthier - founder of the “fluxxes” movement in contemporary and graphic art.

HARVEST & AGEING
Harvested along with the wines for its older brother, Cotes du Rousillon Village Rouge and blended with wines from neighboring vineyards. Jaja is vinified to preserve all the ripe fruit of each vintage. Bottled early to preserve bright fresh fruit flavors.

WINEMAKER’S NOTES
A chunky, peppery red with smoky kirsch/blackcurrant and herbs de Provence scents; delicate floral nose, well-balanced tannins and acid; hints of raspberry on the palate; light, simple, and straightforward. Grape Varieties: 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache

4 Comments:

Blogger Derrick said...

Ooh. I'm sorry to hear the bottle didn't work out. I do like that they tell you in advance to drink it well-chilled. Fair warning I suppose.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Mixed Masala said...

You are waaaaay too kool! I love this place! Thanks! :o)

9:50 PM  
Blogger taj said...

OMG, I love Cuvee de Pena! Such proof that a simple wine can be fat with flavor. It's all about the unfiltered juice, man.

Ja Ja du Jau...ah yes. We had it at my store, as well as the white wine with a green label. Mighty dull stuff.

Clinkies!
Taj

6:39 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Where can I buy Cuvee de Pena in Cincinnati?

3:34 PM  

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