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Five Young Wines from Cotes du Rhone, Roussillon, and Herault


I found myself in Friendship Heights last month and being in need of some drinking wine I stopped by Paul’s.  I walked out with five different bottles, the first four of which I recommend.  These wines are on the young side so they should show best next year.  The 2010 Domaine Les Genstas, Signargues had a beautiful nose but needs the palate to relax from some bottle age.  Domaine Tramontane is the project of Philippe Gard and Andy Cook.  These names might sound familiar because Philippe Gard owns Coume del Mas.  You may read some of my thoughts on the 2003 and 2004 vintages in my post Coume del Mas, Collioure.  I thought their 2011 Domaine Tramontane, Cotes du Roussillon has promising future at an attractive price. The 2009 Domaine Gardies, Les Millères was young and serious, also the driest of the lot. The 2010 Pic & Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone was a young, pure, and clean Cotes du Rhone.  These wines were purchased at Paul’s Wine and Spirits.

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2010 Les Vignerons D’Estezargues, Domaine Les Genestas, Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues – $17
A Jenny & Francois Selections imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignan sourced from 20-80 year old vines.  The fruit was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 10 months in enamel lined tanks.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose developed nicely with fresh berries, baking spice…really quite nice.  In the mouth were fresh fruit flavors tart with minerals before a firm/serious middle.  The acidity was seamlessly integrated before coming to a graphite finish.  The wine seems to firm up with air.  There was a little citrus not in the finish and aftertaste.  This remained a beautiful wine that needs a little time in the bottle.  **(*) 2014-2019.

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2011 Domaine Tramontane, Cotes du Roussillon – $15
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% old-vine Grenache.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose begun a little reduced then revealed subtle aromas of pungent black fruit.  In the mouth there was controlled, dense, young black fruit then pungent red and black fruit with some ripeness.  Young fruit now but a fine future ahead.   It had a cool nature, a little ripeness, and expansion in the mouth.  **(*) 2014-2020.

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2009 Domaine Gardies, Les Millères, Cotes du Roussillon Villages – $19
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 20% Carignan, and 5% Mourvedre.  It was aged for 12 months in 50% cuve béton and 50% demi-muids. Alcohol 13.5%.  The light nose bore blue fruit and a little wood note.  In the mouth this was a good, young wine that was serious but tastes of some young vines.  The blue fruit was a little ripe, with some weight, then acidity and drier flavors in the back of the mouth.  There was some extract and noticeable acidity in the finish.  **(*) Now-2020.

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2010 Pic & Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone – $16
Imported by Nice Legs.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose bore some young, assertive aromas.  There were young flavors in the mouth and firm tannins with black minerals.  The wine played it close in the middle but had a good aftertaste.  There were pure and clean flavors followed by very fine, ripe, black fruited texture in the aftertaste.  Good future.  *** 2014-2019.

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2009 Le Chemin Des Reves, Saltimbanque, Carignan, VdP De L’Herault – $13
Imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is 100% old-vine Carignan.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was of raspberry and pungent red fruit aromas along with some black fruit.  There was a certain firmness to the black fruit then a powdery ripeness as the wine became all-around approachable.  There were smooth tannins integrated with the acidity, and a hint of earth.  There was some softness but not too much, for drinking now.  ** Now-2015.

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