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Four French Wines From the 2010 Vintage


Despite the portfolio tastings and various events I am still tasting wines at home.  Of the four wines featured below I would recommend the first three.  The 2010 J.L. Chave, Silene is enjoyable and approachable now but I have a sneaking s suspicion it might become even better in one or two years.  The 2010 Rouge-Bleu, Dentelle is fun to drink immediately after opening but its structure does come out leading me to believe it will be best early next year.  It is amusing to recently purchase both the 2006 and 2010 vintages of the Santa Duc, Les Vieilles Vignes.  Drink the 2006 while the 2010 opens up over the short-term.  Lastly, the 2010 Marjolet, Cuvee Tradition had some good fruit but could never shake the very firm structure nor the bits of heat, both of which I found distracting.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2010 J.L. Chave Selections, Silene, Crozes-Hermitage – $20
Imported by Erin Cannon Imports.  This wine is 100% Syrah from hillside parcels on granite with 50% sourced from a young parcel planted in 2003.  It wasf fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 18 months in oak casks.  Alcohol 13%.  The scented nose is of good, clean Northern Rhone fruit.  In the mouth there were orange and red fruit, graphite, and tangy red fruit.  There were some very fine, strong tannins in this younger but still approachable wine.  With air the midpalate becomes lush and citric mineral flavors come out.  *** Now-2017.

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2010 Domaine Rouge-Bleu, Dentelle, VdP de Mediterranee – $16
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is a blend of 65% Carignan sourced from 57-year-old vines and 45% Grenache sourced from 35-year-old vines.  It was whole-cluster fermented in small concrete tanks.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a light to medium grapey ruby.  The youthful nose is of young berries and purple fruit.  The wine was fruitier on the first night with violets mixing with black and purple fruit.  There was a firm, grapey blackness, grapey tannins, and good acidity.  Dried herbs came out in the finish where there was firm structure followed by some perfume in the aftertaste.  It throws a lot of sediment.  *** 2014-2019.

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2010 Domaine Santa Duc, Les Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Cinsault, Counoise, and Carignan from vines averaging 50 years of age.  The fruit was destemmed then aged on the lees in vats.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was light with pungent berries underlaid by ripe, grainy blue fruit aromas.  The mouth follows the nose with dense fruit, ripe tannins and an almost chewy nature.  The flavors are expansive in the mouth with ripe tannins and spices coating the lips and tongue.  With air red fruit and a darker core come out.  **(*) 2014-2018.

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2010 Chateau de Marjolet, Cuvee Tradition, Cotes du Rhone Villages Laudun – $13
Imported by Bacchus Importers.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah which was aged for 12 months in thermo-regulated tanks.  Alcohol 14.5%.  Tasted over several nights this wine offers firm, black, minerally fruit followed by focused ripeness.  It remained coiled tight and young with some heat and firm tannins coming out with air.  There are very fine, spicy, drying tannins in the aftertaste.  ** 2016-2021.

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