Some big news has broken lately in the world of wine. Decanter.com recently reported that “Renowned Rhone producer Nicolas Jaboulet is set to release his first wine from a new joint venture with the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel.” This is a dream team of sorts for wine lovers: Jaboulet’s former firm, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, produces some of the most sought-after wines of the Northern Rhone. And the Perrin family produces what many consider to be among the finest wines of the Southern Rhone. This, then, is as promising a partnership as we’ve come across in a long time.
The new label, called “Nicolas Jaboulet, Perrin Frères,” will produce, according to the report, “cuvées of 3-12,000 bottles, selected from parcels of vines across the key appellations of the northern Rhone, and then blended and bottled in the Perrin winery in Orange….The first wines will be the 2007 vintage from Hermitage Rouge, Hermitage Blanc, Cote Rotie and Saint Joseph.”
Also of note is a recent blog post on the Carignan grape by Eric Asimov of The New York Times. What’s important about what he has written isn’t so much the specifics, but the fact that someone has finally penned a piece on this most misunderstood grape variety. For indeed, it has been responsible for—or, at the very least, contributed to—some excellent wines from all over the world, most notably South West France and California.
Bottlings like the Ridge Three Valleys and the Delas Frères Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit demonstrate how significant a role the grape can play in a blend. Purer expressions of the variety include the Odfjell Vineyards Carignane Orzada and the standout Domaine de Nizas old-vines Carignane “Causses de Nizas” Vin de Pays de Caux. (That last one is a mouthful, and so, too, is the wine!)
And, finally, the biggest news of all: Wine Chateau’s Grand Opening celebration of the new, 10,000-square-foot store in Piscataway, New Jersey. Hundreds of people stopped by the gorgeous new space this past weekend and were treated to tastings of fantastic wines (the photo above is a close-up of part of the spread), great food, the company of family and friends, belly dancing on Friday night, and a ribbon-cutting on Saturday. I’m still editing the video I shot, and will have it posted here in a couple of days. But needless to say, if you haven’t been able to visit already, make sure to do so soon. From the knowledgeable, passionate staff to the incredible selection of wines to the spectacularly elegant (and fabulously stocked) fine wine room, the new Wine Chateau in Piscataway is a wine experience you definitely don’t want to miss.