Château Juvenal

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Juvenal tasting room (498 x 350)

Château Juvenal commenced the cultivation of grapes after the catastrophic frost of 1956 destroyed most of the 5000 olive trees that were growing on its estate. The property was purchased by Anne-Marie and Bernard Forestier in 2001 after they sold their software business when Bernard started to lose his shearing. Anne and Bernard struck up a viticultural partnership with Sebastien Alban to deliver the grapes to the local cooperative. The three of them then decided to combine their vineyards to produce their own wines from newly constructed cellars in 2010.

The property cultivates 35 ha (87 acres) of vines in AOC Ventoux and AOC Beaumes de Venise. Juvenal is without doubt one of the top producers in Ventoux, producing complex, age-worthy wines.

Historically the name “Ventoux” had been associated with cheap fruity wines, and it has been difficult for the quality Ventoux producers to command the prices that they deserve for their wines. The upshot, for the canny consumer, are wines that represent fantastic value for money.

I was first drawn to the estate by their white Ventoux “Ribes du Vallat” – recommended to me by the owner of the wonderful Restaurant Les Florets in Gigondas. Beautifully fresh (for a southern Rhône valley white) and balanced and with a delightful fruit length at a cellar price in single figures – at least it was until the secret got out! AOC Ventoux whites are often fresh due to cool air that descends at night from Mont Ventoux. However, they often lack length and depth as too many growers search high yields which only contributes to the Ventoux image problem. Chateau Juvenal is the opposite. It seeks low yields on a par with the illustrious neighbouring Rhône crus of Gigondas and Vacqueras.

All the red wines are fermented and (the majority) matured in stainless steel. The exception is the Syrah and Mourvèdre components in the old vine “Terre de Petit Homme”. The marvelous 100% Grenache “Perséides” is a selection of their best plots, which are not necessarily their oldest vines. This 100% Grenache wine is not within the AOC Ventoux rules, so is sold as a Vin de France.

Wine Details

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IGP “Moment” White: Muscat fermented to dryness. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Ageing potential: Up to 2 years.

Ventoux “Ribes du Vallat” White: Majority Clairette with Viognier. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Aged in stainless and demi-muids (600 litre barrels). Ageing potential: Up to 4 years.

Ventoux “Ribes du Vallat” (aka “Jolie” in US market) Rosé: Grenache and Cinsault. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Ageing potential: Up to 2 years.

Vin de France “Gaïa de Juvenal” Sparkling Rosé: Grenache sparkled using the champagne method. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Ageing potential: Up to 2 years.

Ventoux “Ribes du Vallat” (aka “Jolie” in US market) : Majority Grenache with Syrah. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Fermented and matured in stainless. Ageing potential: Up to 7 years.

Beaumes de Venise : Majority Grenache with Syrah. Sandy slopes. Fermented and matured in stainless. Ageing potential: Up to 7 years.

Ventoux “Terre du Petit Homme” : Old vine Grenache with Syrah and a little Mourvèdre. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Fermented and matured in stainless and new barrels. Ageing potential: Up to 10 years.

Vin de France “Perséides” : Selected plots of Grenache. Clay-limestone south-facing slopes. Fermented and matured in stainless. Ageing potential: Up to 15 years.

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise : Fortified Muscat petits grains. Sandy slopes. Fermented and matured in stainless. Ageing potential: Up to 10 years.

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Listed below: Three in USA; One in UK

juvenal ribes bottle (330 x 330)
Juvenal jolie rose bottle
juvenal terre bottle
juvenal perseides bottle (330 x 330)