As the previous post featured a wine made from Syrah I decided to include an illustration of a Syrah bunch from Viala and Vermorel’s Ampélographie. It was published just over one century ago in seven volumes, featuring 500 chromolithographed images of grape varieties.
 Ampélographie. Tome 2 / publiée sous la direction de P. Viala,…, V. Vermorel,… ; avec la collaboration de A. Bacon, A. Barbier, A. Berget… [et al.] 1901-1910. Bibliothèque nationale de France. URL: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb35281023z
 I was also inspired by Mannie Berk’s inclusion of the Bastardo variety in our most recent Madeira tasting booklet.
I was down to my last bottle of 2000 Domaine Les Aphillanthes, Cuvee du Cros, Cotes du Rhone Villages so when I saw it available on WineBid I grabbed a few bottles. This is a dark, flavorful wine drinking at its peak which means it is very satisfying. I love how Rhone wines can be pleasurable both in youth and maturity!
2000 Domaine Les Aphillanthes, Cuvee du Cros, Cotes du Rhone Villages –
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This is 100% Syrah aged in demi-muids. Alcohol 14.7%. This is a generous wine with minerally black and red fruit accented by garrigue. It still has power in reserve at this stage. The fruit is plentiful and deep with the structure only noticeable towards the end. Only bits of dry wood flavor peak through so the wine presents itself as a harmonious mouthful. **** Now – 2019.
Simply put if you need a red wine for daily drinking or a large party then look no further than the 2011 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, MonVi, Colli Perugini Rosso. This is a Sangiovese based Bordeaux blend with a bit of bitterness and cocoa but it is very tasty. It delivers a lot of satisfaction at only $13 per bottle. I must thank Tim for pointing it out to me. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, MonVi, Colli Perugini Rosso – $13
Imported by Vini Inc. This wine is a blend of 55% Sangiovese, 22% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc which is fermented in stainless steel then aged in a mixture of stainless steel and oak. Alcohol 14.5%. This is really tasty. For those in search of more information this a moderately ripe wine with ripe texture, a black bitter element, and cocoa aftertaste. It has watery acidity and a billowy structure which should support development for a year. But why wait? **(*) Now – 2019.
2015 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, Villa, Umbria – $10
Imported by Vini Inc. This is 100% Sangiovese made from the youngest vines and raised entirely in stainless steel. Alcohol 14 %. This is a firm wine with slightly bitter black fruit, acidity, and fine texture. *(*) Now.
I opened the 1979 De Forville, Barbaresco on a whim when I found out a dinner guest at our house is another wine lover. I picked up this bottle from Chambers Street Wine a year or two ago on the recommendation of Jamie. De Forville is a 19th century estate which, according to the Wasserman’s, produced this wine using the traditional methods of long skin contact and long cask aging. The 1979 vintage was uneven but I suspect the traditional winemaking and careful storage ensured that it arrived at my table in fine shape. This bottle fleshed out then peaked after 15 to 30 minutes. It is more complex in the mouth and when opened up, reveals mouth filling old-school flavors. I happily savored the last glass while I read a mystery book.
1979 De Forville, Barbaresco
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. Alcohol 13%. The cranberry with mixed red fruit nose reveals that the wine is very much alive. In the mouth the flavors of leather and red fruit soon flesh out a bit. This is an old-school wine with plenty of grip and acidity. It becomes more complex in the mouth adding black fruit, wood notes, and an inky bit. It wraps up with ethereal ripeness in the aftertaste. **** Now but will last.
Phil has imported the wines of Domaine des Pasquiers for three years now. The trio of 2015 Rhone wines in this post represents the latest offering. 2015 is quite a vintage and all of these wines show significant flavor and stuffing. Of the trio, my favorite is the 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu. It is deep, flavorful, and has grip that I like. As with any proper Cotes du Rhone it will drink well over the next several years. The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet is definitely young and in need of age. I could see it outstep the Plan de Dieu once it is mature but for a bit of raisin flavor. Maybe everything will come together in a couple years, in that case this could be a bit of a sleeper. The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas follows is the house style of modern Gigondas. While I prefer more funk this is certainly impressive with fat notes and a very long aftertaste to boot. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This is a very dark, grapey red color. The familiar, deep flavor leans more towards red fruit than black and is supported by strong, very fine tannic structure and watering acidity. With air herbs and a bit of inkinesss come out. It is certainly very flavorful with a touch of compelling grip, lots of flavor, and a dense almost chocolate finish. *** Now – 2022.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This wine plays it close with black fruited, powdery ripe flavor. There is extract and just the right amount of acidity. The very fine drying structure and wood notes indicate it needs a year or two for integration. The one distraction are fleeting flavors of raisins. **(*) 2018-2024.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This blue fruited wine is strong in flavor and strong in structure. It is a dense, sexy with a modern personality of fat, minerals, and structure. The aftertaste is persistent. *** Now – 2027.
The 2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage must set a benchmark for dense flavor and strength when it comes to Crozes-Hermitage. Perhaps it is atypical for the region but the wine is attractively savory, textured, and lively from acidity. This is a lot to receive from a $20 Northern Rhone Syrah. Give it a try! This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage – $20
Imported by Misa Imports. This wine is 100% Syrah sources from 40 year old vines. Alcohol 13%. This is a dense, savory wine coupled with smooth edges. There is ripe texture made more engaging by the lively acidity. Though this wine has power it is still evocative of the Northern Rhone with its floral notes. *** Now – 2023.
Castiglion del Bosco produces several wines from Montalcino but also the flavorful Dainero from their vineyards in Riparbella. Located near Bolgheri, Riparbella is also an area conducive to the Bordeaux varieties. The 2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany shows off as a successful blend of mostly Merlot with a touch of Sangiovese. It is ultimately quite tasty with the additional benefits of texture, almost lively acidity, and surprising depth. It is a well-priced wine worth checking out. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany – $18
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines. This wine is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then aged for 6 months in a combination of new and used oak. Alcohol 13%. Deep red flavors overlay minerals and bright black fruit. There is a good amount of acidity, almost bordering on lively, with texture and tang hitting the back of the mouth. The wine plays it close with structure and brightness to support further development. Development is no doubt possible because the wine has surprising depth to the pervasive, blue and black fruit flavors. *** Now – 2022.