Home > Good, ModGood > Phillipe Cambie’s Les Halos de Jupiter

Phillipe Cambie’s Les Halos de Jupiter


The Moons of Jupiter, Astri Medicei, Galileo Galilei, 1610, Image from Museo Galileo, Florence, Italy

Last week I happened to find myself driving near a Total Wine store in Virginia.  Not willing to waste the opportunity I quickly stopped by.  I immediately spotted these two distinctive bottles with Phillipe Cambie’s name on them.  Phillipe Cambie is a famous consultant whose upbringing in the Mediterranean has made him addicted to Grenache.  Les Haloes de Jupiter is a negocient project he works on with Michel Gassier of Chateau de Nages.  For Phillipe “Grenache is the king of all grapes and the natural leader of all Rhone varietals” so it is natural that this Grenache-based project is named after Jupiter.  Both of these wines are more than two-third Grenache.  Of these two powerful wines my recommendation is to try the Vacqueyras.  It shows more interesting and persistant flavors along with good overall balance.  They are currently available at Total Wine.

2009 Les Halos de Jupiter, Cotes du Rhone – $15
Imported by Saranty Imports.  This wine is a blend of 85% old-vine Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre sourced from a vineyard near Roaix at the Northern end of the Southern Rhone.  Fermented for five weeks the fruit undergoes malolactic fermentation then is blended and aged.  The Grenach and Mourvedre are abed for one year in concrete vats and the Syrah is barrel aged.  The color is a medium, youthful ruby. There is a slightly heady nose of blue fruit and blueberry liquor.  In the mouth there are concentrated bluer fruit flavors, integrated sweet drying tannins.  There is a lightness to the fruit with hints of the alcohol poking out. I had a hard time getting a read on this wine so I would suggest cellaring it for a few years.  ** 2014-2019.

2009 Les Halos de Jupiter, Vacqueyras – $20
Imported by Saranty Imports.  This wine is a blend of 83% Grenache which is very old and 17% Syrah which is 35 years old.  The fruit is sourced from the Plateau des Garrigues with soils of rolled pebbles and red clay.  Fermented for five weeks the fruit undergoes malolactic fermentation then is blended and aged for one year in demi-muid.  This wine revealed a tight nose of mixed fruit.  In the mouth the dense red and blue fruit mixed with sweet spices and a cool aspect.  There is understated power to the wine with enjoyable sweet tannins which coat the lips and cheeks.  The tannins dry out a touch before sweet spice and minerally blackberry flavors come out.  This is drinkable now but the wine plays it close.  *** 2017-2025.

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