Domaine Le Grand Retour is one of a trio of estates owned and overseen by
the 3 Aubert Brothers, who since 1981 have been forwarding the foundation
and traditions begun by their father. The 150 hectares of this property were
originally established by Algerian immigrants who again left the country for a
time, then returned to find their mature plantings ready to bear wine-making
fruit – hence providing the Domaine’s namesake of ‘the major return’!
Here, due south of neighbouring Burgundy, the Rhône’s abundant vineyards
straddle the river for 125 miles from Vienne in the north: producing red wines
exclusively built on the Syrah grape – to just below Avignon in the south: where
the GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) or GSMC (add Carignan) blends are
fashioned. Significant wine-making history here dates back at least to the arrival
of the popes in the Middle Ages with Avignon, more recently, being anointed as
the ‘capital city’ of Rhône wines in 1966.
The DéClassé recommended red this week, is a bold, classic version of a 70%,
20%, 10% GSM extracted from 45yr.-old vine stock rooted in the warm, stony
limestone soils typical of the ‘Plan de Dieu’ sub-region within the larger Côtes
du Rhône Villages appellation. Enjoying a relatively hot and dry, localized climate
that’s ideal for the full maturation of these grape varieties, the geographic plain
which frames this designation of origin encompasses the towns of Jonquieres,
Camaret-sur-Aigues, Violes, as well as, the source of this week’s wine: Travaillan.
Though being a relatively new appellation (having only been created in 2005),
the classification nonetheless indicates the production of better quality wine
than from the fields of the nearby, generic Côtes du Rhône AOC.
This is a secondary release of the same vintage seen on shelves last year at this
time – a Gold Medal winner at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris 2012.
DOMAINE LE GRAND RETOUR PLAN DE DIEU 2011
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #224592 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 13.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Rhône, France
By: Aubert Frères, Prop.-Récolt.
Release Date: Aug 16, 2014
Dark, silky-smooth with rich fruit and savory notes, the complexity of aromas and
flavours in this bottling exceeds its general pedigree of an ‘entry level’, southern
Rhône wine. Try serving with duck, lamb, stuffed eggplant, bean stew with sage or