A Trio of French Reds


I may not have purchased any Chateauneuf du Pape for less than $30 but there are plenty of selections from the Cotes du Rhone Villages.  The 2010 vintage has produced excellent and age-worthy wines.   This is reflected in the Domaine de la Janasse, Terre d’Argile and the Oratoire St Martin, Reserve des Seigneurs.  The Janasse starts off with a lovely nose followed by a mouth of tight, focused, pure fruit.  It is in a primary state right now but is still pleasing and will certainly develop over the years.  The Oratoire St Martin is quite pleasing in its youth and already shows enticing complexity.  The wine is firm so it is best left in the cellar.  It should mature a tad bit faster than the Janasse and I suspect it may achieve greater heights.  The Mas del Perie from Cahors was a pleasant surprise for not all wines from 2007 are ripe and forward.   The nose is attractive followed by good fruit but there are still firm, drying tannins.  I would be tempted to cellar it a bit to see what happens, if not then try it with some meat. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Domaine de la Janasse, Terre d’Argile, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $25
Imported by Eric Solomon. This wine is a blend of 25% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre, and 25% Carignan sourced from 40-60 year old vines at the La Garrigues vineyard.  It was aged for one year in foudre.  Alcohol 15%. The color was a medium grapey ruby. The nose smelled good with a little saline whiff of the sea followed by red fruit and red candy. In the mouth there was tight, focused black fruit along with very fine, drying tannins. The finish was a little spicy on the tongue with a good core of fruit. This will be slow to age so be patient for what will come. ***(*) 2016-2025.

2010 Oratoire St Martin, Reserve des Seigneurs, Cairanne – $22
Imported by Dionysos Imports. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah sourced from 65-year-old vines. It was fermented for 18 days then aged for 24 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%. The color was a medium purple ruby. The light nose had concentrated aromas of grapey fruit. In the mouth there were focused and ripe black fruit flavors and graphite which expanded in the mouth. The minerals mixed well with the drying tannins which coated the mouth and teeth from the middle. This wine remained firm and focused with a nice weighty feel, cedar flavors in the finish, and some spicy tannins in the aftertaste. This needs several hours to open but is best left in the cellar. ***(*) 2015-2025.

2007 Mas del Perie, La Roque, Malbec, Cahors – $22
Imported by Wine Traditions. This wine is 100% Malbec sourced from 30-year-old vines farmed organically.  It was aged on the lees for 10 months in 50% used oak barrels and 50% cement tanks.  Alcohol 13.5%. The light nose was scented with fruit and spice, a little powdery chewing gum, and some vanilla. In the mouth there was a little more structure than expected but the fruit kept a light personality. The flavors were of red and blue fruit with well-integrated acidity. The flavors took on focus towards the finish along with a tobacco note and firm, drying tannins in the aftertaste. **(*) 2015-2019.

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