Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Five Bottles Under $25, 28 December 2007

Five Bottles Under $25, 28 December 2007

2004 Bertrand-Berge, Cuvee Megalithes, Fitou
I have been interested in trying the Megalithes for a while now. Earlier in the year I purchased a case of the 2001 Cuvee Ancestrale (50% Carignan, 30% Grenache, and 20% Syrah) which I have been slowly enjoying.  It is an affordable, medium-sized wine that offers a complete package of bottle-aged nose, flavors, and finish. The Cuvee Megalithes is a majority old-vine Carignan (95% ?) wine that received three stars in the 2007 Hachette.  The nose was resolutely clamped down, only offering light aromas of black fruit and alcohol.

2001 Domaine la Soumade, Gigondas
I did not like this.  Not much of a nose, one-dimensional berry flavors overshadowed by tannins.  Maybe an underperforming bottle?  I have enjoyed other Soumade wines.

2004 Domaine la Bouissiere, Gigondas
This is 62% Grenache/38% Syrah according to North Berkley Imports and 70% Grenache/30% Syrah according to Michael Skurnik Wines.  My bottle, imported by Dionysos Imports just states Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre.  Tanzer’s note states 16% alcohol, the Bouissiere label states 14.5%, and the Dionysos Imports label states 13%.  In any event, take your pick.  I enjoyed this wine and did not find it hot. Red and black berries, around a savory core, with fine tannins.  This needs more age than the Bel Air.

2005 Domaine la Bouissiere, Bel Air, Vacqueyras
This is 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah aged  80% in barrique and 20% in tank. This young wine is tasty and captivating from the start.  The Bel Air is a tad more purple in color than the La Ponche.  Red berries and spice are carried by obvious tannins.  Tastes almost the same on the second night, I would definitely cellar this for several years.  I liked it.

2004 Domaine la Bouissiere, La Ponche, Vacqueyras
This is 76% Grenache and 24% Mourvedre aged 100% in barrique.  This is tighter all around compared to the Bel Air.  Darker berries, stronger tannins; I found that the flavors drop off leaving a persistant tannic finish.  I thought there was less going on than the Bel Air.

1994 Clarendon Hills, Merlot
My wife and I first had this several years ago.  I didn’t take notes but it had a memorable profile.  Right out of the bottle an assertive nose of salty olives and flavors of salty olives, both of which grew in strength with air.  A hard wine to drink, it brought back memories of the previous bottle.  I never would have guessed this as merlot.  So I opened the 1998 Andrew Will, Ciel du Cheval, Merlot to drink

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