Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #227 Oct 2016

These Halos de Jupiter wines are made by the Southern Rhône Valley’s omnipresent oenologist, Philippe Cambie, with assistance from Costières de Nîmes’ superstar Michel Gassier. The goal with these wines is to show Grenache from different terroirs in the Rhône Valley. While I don’t think the 2014s will make old bones, they’re beautiful wines that are well worth checking out. The 2015s are certainly a step up, and at the upper end, possibly some of the best wines from this label to date.

(94-96)   –    2015 Les Halos de Jupiter Chateauneuf du Pape – Adrastée
The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Adrastée is 100% Grenache that’s all from the La Crau lieu-dit. Aged all in once-used demi-muids, it’s a serious, full-bodied, concentrated beauty that has layers of black raspberries, currants, plum sauce and spice aromas and flavors.  While it’s a big wine, the tannin is incredibly fine, it has no hard edges and terrific overall balance. I suspect it will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring and drink well over the following 10-15 years.  – JD

(92-94)   –  2015 Les Halos de Jupiter Chateauneuf du Pape
The Grenache-dominated 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape comes from a mix of limestone, sandstone and pebbly soils and was complete destemmed and aged in one- to two-year-old Burgundy barrels. It’s a fabulous-looking barrel sample and is loaded with black and blue fruits, lavender, incense and garrigue aromas and flavors. Fullbodied, ripe and layered, with sweet tannin, it’s a sexy 2015 to enjoy over the following decade or more.- JD

(90-92)  –  2015 Les Halos de Jupiter Gigondas
Made from 85% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre from the sandy parts in the appellation, the 2015 Gigondas was fermented with 100% whole clusters and is still sitting in older demi-muids. It’s inky purple color is followed by fresh, focused notions of black fruits, dried pepper and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and structured, give bottles 2-3 years in the cellar and drink though 2027. – JD

89 + – 2015 Les Halos de Jupiter Vacqueyras
Already bottled, the 2015 Vacqueyras (85% Grenache and 15% Syrah) is a tight, firm effort that offers lots of black and blue fruits and peppery nuances to go with medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of tannin and a good finish. I like its purity and focus, but it stays compressed and tight on the palate. Give bottled 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy through 2025. – JD

(89-91) – 2015 Les Halos de Jupiter Côtes du Rhône
Coming from vines near Cairanne, the 2015 Côtes du Rhône (85% Grenache and 15% Syrah) should be another rock-solid wine that has plenty of darker fruits, bouquet garni and pepper in its medium to full-bodied, focused and even structured personality. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. – JD

(88-90) – 2015 Les Halos de Jupiter Costières de Nîmes
The 2015 Costières de Nîmes has outstanding potential and offers notes of kirsch and black cherries, as well as lots of Provençal herbs, white pepper and leather. Medium to full-bodied, nicely textured and with top notch purity, it’s a terrific wine from this up and coming appellation. The blend for the 2015 is 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, all aged in concrete. – JD

91 – 2014 Les Halos de Jupiter Chateauneuf du Pape
The 2014s have all been bottled. The 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape checks in as a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre that was completely destemmed, and aged in once- and twice-used Burgundy barrels. It shows the forward, complex style of the vintage and has lots of kirsch and strawberry fruits, leather and cured meat characteristics, as well as medium to full-bodied richness and sweet tannin. It’s ready to go, but will evolve nicely through 2024.- JD

90 – 2014 Les Halos de Jupiter Gigondas
A big success in the vintage for Gigondas (which struggled in 2014), the 2014 Gigondas includes a touch more Grenache than the 2015 and is 88% Grenache and 12% Mourvèdre that was aged in neutral demi-muids. Coming mostly from the upper terraces, its shockingly deep purple color is followed by classic Gigondas notes of exotics spices, leather, cedar and darker fruits. Medium to full-bodied, rich and nicely concentrated, with fine tannin and notable, yet integrated acidity, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and drink well for a decade after that.- JD

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