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Recently Tasted Wines From France

The 2010 vintage is providing us with many good wines from France.  At the most affordable end there are many approachable wines.  The $11 2010 Kermit Lynch, Cotes du Rhone has quickly become my go-to selection for interesting and affordable red wine.  Almost as good and a little cheaper are the 2009 Chateau Grande Cassagne, Costeries de Nimes and 2010 Andre Brunel, Cotes du Rhone.  Priced at $9 and $10 respectively these wines are both drinking well.   (And yes, the former is from the 2009 vintage).  Moving up in price the wines show more structure than the 2009 vintage.  More serious are the 2010 Domaine de la Janasse, Cotes du Rhone and 2010 Domaine Charivn, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone.  These will both benefit from short-term aging and I suspect the Charvin will become the most expressive of the two.  Finally the 2010 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires, Cotes du Roussillon Villages was a bit underwhelming at this point but this appears due to its need for age.  The flavors were deep with balanced structure.   These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $11
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose is a little pungent with some blue and black fruit.  There were firm flavors in the mouth, red and black, with some salivating acidity and a drying tannic structure.  This should relax by the end of the year but there was no great depth of flavor.  The finish was drying with some citric red fruit.  ** 2013-2015.


2010 Clos du Mont-Olivet, Font de Blanche, Cotes du Rhone – $11
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  Alcohol  14%.  The nose was perfumed with inky berries.  The mouth follows the nose but was firmer and structured.  There were black fruits, grapey flavors, and good perfume before the very firm finish.  ** 2014-2019.


2009 Chateau Grande Cassagne, Costieres de Nimes – $9
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is a  blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose bore definite aromas of meat, soy sauce, and bacon.  The mouth followed the notes with the addition of minerally black fruit followed by riper black fruit in the finish.  There was good acidity from the start.  ** Now-2014.


2010 Andre Brunel, Cotes du Rhone – $10
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections. This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vineyards. Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a light but interesting nose.  In the mouth there was a little vigor to the red and black fruit, some grip, and a little texture on the tongue.  It took on a racy aspect as it showed some structure with moderate weight and acidity.  There were some darker flavors in the aftertaste.  A strong value.  ** Now-2017.


2010 Domaine de la Janasse, Cotes du Rhone – $15
Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed blue fruit and some berries.  In the mouth the fruit was concentrated with supportive structure for short-term aging.  It took on good, grainy blue fruit flavors.  **(*) 2015-2019.


2010 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone – $19
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Carignan raised in concrete.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a medium grapey, ruby.  The subtle nose preceded the mouth.  There were firm, grapey, black fruit flavors which became more expressive on the second night.  The black fruit continued in the finish where drying, fine-grained tannins coated the inside of the lips.  The structure and acidity are in balance with the fruit.  This needs a few years of age but will be worth the wait.  **(*) 2015-2019.


2010 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires, Cotes du Roussillon Villages – $22
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache, and 10% Carignan fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 10 months in 80% cuve and 20% barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a medium purple-ruby.  The nose was light with red fruit, citrus, and a fine scent.  In the mouth there were old-school, earthy flavors, lighter in weight but deep in flavor.  There wine maintained a certain firmness to the drying black and earthy fruit.  There was a very fine, drying tannic structure followed by an earthy aftertaste.  With time there was a slight Pilsner note to this drying wine.  **(*) 2015-2020.


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