Red Wines at Fran Kysela’s Mondovino 2012
After we finished tasting the white wines we assembled yet another plate of food which we sat down to eat in the colder part of the warehouse. The bites of food, plenty of water, and comfort from sitting down recharged us for tasting the red wines. I must admit I was tempted to jump straight to the red Rhone wines but restraint won out so we applied ourselves in a similar manner as for the white wines. When we did arrive at the Rhone section we tasted through quite a few wines. I am an unabashed lover of this region and there were plenty to try at Mondovino. Alain Jaume/Grand Veneur poured a massive array of wines, there were four red wines from Domaine de la Mordoree, several from Chateau de Segries, Domaine Johann Michel, and others.
Below you will find an edited list of over two dozen red wines notes that represent new or notable wines for me. To pick some highlights in the affordable end of the price range you cannot go wrong this spring with the 2011 Palacio de Verano, Rioja and the 2011 Riebeek, Swartland, Pinotage which might convert many to Pinotage.
In the mid-range I liked the 2010 Manoir du Carra, Moulin a Vent, the open and inviting 2006 Vitanza, Brunello di Montalcino, Tradizione, the meaty 2005 Valsacro, Rioja, Crianza, the 2010 Domaine de la Mordoree, Lirac Rouge, La Dame Rousse, and the 2010 Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Les Champauvins.
My favorite red wines were from Chateauneuf du Pape led by the 2010 Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge, Vieilles Vignes. It was fabulous! Following up were the approachable 2010 Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge, Les Origines and the primary 2010 Domaine de la Mordoree, Chateauneuf du Pape, La Reine des Bois. Definitely give these three wines a try, as they are out of my price range it was a treat to both taste and drink them. I must also emphasis that as great as the Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge are you must not ignore the two Blanc from Grand Veneur.
We tasted many other red wines but after 5pm I started to slow down on my note and picture taking. However, I continued to taste a few dozen additional wines that evening. Of these I definitely recommend you try:
- #140 – 2010 Grand Veneur, Clos de Sixte, Lirac Rouge
- #141 – 2010 Alain Jaume, Vacqueyras Rouge, Grand Garrigue
- #152 – 2010 Clos de l’Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone Rouge
- #153 – 2010 Domaine Colline St. Jean, Vacqueyras
- #154 – 2010 Domaine Joel Champet, Cote-Rotie, La Vialliere
- #157 – 2010 Domaine Johann Michel, Cornas, Cuvee Jana
- #189 – 2005 Accordini, Amarone, Le Bessole, Classico
- #195 – 2010 Kennedy Point, Waiheke, Syrah
- #289 – 2009 Abeja, Merlot, Columbia Valley
- #290 – 2008 Abeja, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
2010 Manoir du Carra, Beaujolais-Villages, Unfiltered – $15
This is 100% Gamay sourced from 70-100 year old vines which underwent semi-carbonic maceration, and aged for 3-4 months in foudres. A good start with red and dark red fruits, good mouth feel, then tannins in the finish.
2010 Manoir du Carra, Julienas, Cru Beaujolais – $20
This had a mixture of red and blue fruits but I was distracted by the tannins.
2010 Manoir du Carra, Fleurie, Cru Beaujolais – $26
This had a subtle nose and in the mouth the dark, black fruit mixed with minerals before the palate was whacked by fine, drying tannins.
2010 Manoir du Carra, Moulin a Vent, Cru Beaujolais – $23
The fruit is sourced from the lieu-dit Les Burdelines where the vines are 50 years of age on manganese granite soils. It is aged for 3-4 months in 50% foudre and 50% concrete tank. This was quite nice with a floral, aromatic note which set it apart and possessed the best integration between fruit and tannins. Will benefit from age.
2010 Maurice Ecard, Bourgogne Rouge – $20
Produced from estate fruit it was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation then aged for six months in 2-4 year old oak barrels. This started off well with a modern profile of lightly ripe fruit but the acidity and tannins seemed a bit out of balance.
2010 Maurice Ecard, Savigny-Les-Beaune, 1er Cru Les Serpentieres – $49
Definitely a step up from the Bourgogne Rouge with its distinct note that sets it apart. Still a bit modern and underwhelming.
2007 Bressia, Monteagrelo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza – $27
This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for 15 months in French and American oak. A good solid wine with dark fruit flavors and plenty of texture. Approachable now but the ripe tannins will age for the short-term.
2008 Bressia, Monteagrelo, Syrah, Mendoza – $27
This is 100% Syrah that was aged for 15 months in French and American oak. With a strong perfume throughout the blue fruit flavors are delivered with plenty of texture. Will age for the short-term.
2008 Bressia, Monteagrelo, Malbec, Mendoza – $27
This is 100% Syrah that was aged in French oak. Quite a nice Malbec, chewy in texture, with more heft and breadth than I have recently drunk in a Malbec.
2009 Bressia, Monteagrelo, Cabernet Franc, Mendoza – $27
This is 100% Syrah that was aged in French oak. With a strong overall similarity to the previous wines this set itself apart with a brighter red Cabernet Franc component that left the impression it was on steroids; certainly enjoyable.
2007 Bressai, Profundo, Mendoza – $40
This is a blend of 50% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Merlot and Syrah which was aged for 12 months in 50% new French and American oak. This was a rather forward blend of dark fruits, spices, and subtler texture that may be drunk now.
2007 Bressia, Conjuro, Mendoza – $120
This is a blend of 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 205 Merlot aged for 18 months in new 70% French and American oak. Requiring short-term aging the flavors are cooler with the Malbec component shinning through. A similar mouthfeel to the earlier wines. This was dark with lots of tannins. While it was big and needs a few years to settle down, it was hard not to swallow some.
2006 Vitanza, Brunello di Montalcino, Tradizione – $43
This is 100% Sangiovese produced from 11-year-old vines and was aged for 36 months in large Slovenian barrels. Remarkably approachable and easy to drink there were cherry flavors, good weight, integrated tannins, and maturity. Drinking well now.
2006 Vitanza, Brunello di Montalcino – $70
This is 100% Sangiovese that was aged for 36 months in 70% Slovenian and 30% French barrels. There were blacker fruits than the Tradizione which were younger tasting, a wood note, and fine drying tannins. This needs several years of age.
2011 Palacio de Verano, Rioja – $13
This is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, and 5% Carignan. This was easy-going with red, fruity flavors and completeness that make it a great quencher for the spring.
2005 Valsacro, Rioja, Crianza – $31
This is a blend of 50% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha, and 10$ Marzuelo aged in French and American oak. This was nice with its meaty, dark flavors, spices, cedar, and elegant heft. Drinkable now or over the next several years. This was my favorite of the Spanish wines.
2011 Riebeek, Swartland, Pinotage – $10
The nose was subdued so the burst of ripe, almost sweet red cherries in the mouth was a complete surprised. The wine then subdued moderate tannins. If someone does not like traditional Pinotage then they might like this. Good value.
2010 Riebeek, Swartland, Cabernet Sauvignon – $9
This is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Shiraz. Dark fruit but I preferred the Pinotage, which is all I noted.
2011 Domaine de la Mordoree, Cotes du Rhone Rouge, La Dame Roussie – $19
This is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, and 5% Counoise sourced from 20-year-old vines. A lively blend of bright, red fruit, with fine tannins.
2010 Domaine de la Mordoree, Lirac Rouge, La Dame Rousse – $24
This is a blend of 50% Grench and 50% Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines. This drank the best out of all the Mordoree reds with its linear black fruit which was juicy and matched by a hard, structured edge which I found appealing. Drinking well but needs short-term aging.
2010 Domaine de la Mordoree, Lirac Rouge, La Reine des Bois – $43
This is a blend of 33% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, and 33% Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines and aged in oak barrels, wooden tuns, and enameled steel tanks. The nose was muted in this tighter, concentrated wine with black fruit flavors that eventually reveal heft, fine drying tannins. Wait at least five years before trying again.
2010 Domaine de la Mordoree, Chateauneuf du Pape, La Reine des Bois – $141
Produced from 60-year-old vines. This was concentrated and lovely with ample perfume and blue flavors. Quite nice the fruit stands up to the significant tannins.
2010 Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Les Champauvins – $25
There is a lovely consistency to this wine with its fresh, red fruit, ripe tannins, that while enjoyable now will benefit from short-term aging.
2010 Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau, Les Valats – $27
This is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. I found the flavors harder and red, a bit unforgiving, and not my favorite.
2009 Alain Jaume, Chateauneuf du Pape, Vieux Terron – $45
This is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre. A very approachable wine with dark red fruit, spices, pleasing nature. I would cellar this for the short-term before trying again.
2010 Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge – $53
This is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. Black fruit mixed with cherry, spices, good mouthfeel, and array of flavors. The fruit stands up to the fine tannins.
2010 Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge, Les Origines – $70
A definitely step up from the previous CdP with good quality red fruit, expansive mouthfeel before turning bluer with garrigue notes. As the fruit finishes ample, fine tannins come out but everything is balanced for long aging. A really lovely wine.
2010 Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge, Vieilles Vignes – $121
This is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah sourced from 50-100 year old vines and aged for 18 months in oak barrels. As if Les Origines was not outstanding the Vieilles Vignes ratchets it up with lovely, lifted blue and black fruits which are mouthfilling with a smooth presence. There is incense and a finely detailed finish and aftertaste. Fabulous wine.