Brothers Jean-Paul and Jean-Luc Jamet are widely regarded as being one of the very, very best producers of Cote Rotie. The house style is very traditional with only a small amount of new oak being used to preserve the character of the fruit and the terroir. The brothers have a quarter-century of experience working the Côte-Rôtie slopes, having taken charge of the family Domaine upon father Joseph Jamet’s retiring in the mid-1980s. As a result, the Jamets have strong opinions on what influences the character of the wines from these different locations. For them, the nature of the soil is what matters most, followed by altitude. The majority of their lieux-dits are on the Côte Brune, whose brown schist soils produce black fruited Syrah, with strong tannic structure and longevity. They have just two sites on Côte Blonde granite, and these provide the less structured floral, red fruit character that balances the Brune fruit so well. And, just as the two Côtes complement each other, so do the varying altitudes-the wine from the high, cooler and windier sites leavening the rich, structured juice from the middle of the slopes. Yet, while this expertly tended palate of terroirs is the envy of many Côte-Rôtie growers, Jean-Paul and Jean-Luc don’t necessarily use all of these sites for the flagship wine in a given year. Rather, they strive “to find the best balance in the conditions of the vintage”; if a particular cuvée, regardless of how fine it is, would upset this balance, it is left out. As a result, year after year Jamet is the essence of Côte-Rôtie, a wine of seductive texture and astonishing perfume. Their approach to making this wine is “classicist”: they use modern methods where they are of benefit, but they fiercely defend the idea that Côte-Rôtie should taste like Côte-Rôtie.
Full red robe, wee violet tints. The nose is grilled, roasted, breathes the great Côte; well-set red fruit lies at its heart, with red meat droplets. There are oak nudges here, the sides full of raspberry and baked moments. Its darkness is good and typical. A very typical Côte-Rôtie in its dark mystery; it surfaces on some minerality near the finish.