Recent French Wines
The time I spend on research continues unabated but I am still tasting wine every day. Here is a group of tasting notes from the most recently consumed French wines. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2014 La Bastide Saint Dominique, Cuvee Jules Rochebonne, Cotes du Rhone – $18
Imported by Simon N’ Cellars. This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. The former was aged for 18 months in stainless steel tanks and the later for 18 months in oak barrels. Alcohol 14.5%. There is a complex, meaty, black fruited nose which takes on a tobacco and smoke hint. In the mouth are some bitter black fruit, coarser, spaced-out tannins, and that ethereal flavor consistent with this cuvee. There is the meaty Syrah component but the wine tightens up with air. Might rate higher with age. *** 2018-2023.
2015 Camille Cayran, L’Elegante, Cairanne – $15
Imported by G & B Importers. This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Carignan, and 20% Mourvedre. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose sports good perfume, violets, and pepper hints. In the mouth it is still a bit tight with focused blue and black fruit. There is a dense, citrus, and powdery flavored middle. It softens a touch with an inky finish and some fine pencil notes. This still needs a year to relax the drying tannins. *** 2017-2020.
2014 Olga Raffault, Les Barnabes, Chinon – $18
Imported by Louis/Dressner. Alcohol 13%. The floral, leaning towards vegetal nose makes way to black fruit flavors in the mouth. Saline flavors give a sense of weight but tart, vegetal black fruit comes out. This salty wine has edge acidity and is more for short term drinking. ** Now – 2018.
2015 Herve Souhaut, Syrah, Vin de France -$27
Imported by Williams Corner Wine. Alcohol 13%. There are gentle, attractive flavors of violets and orange flavored fruit. The dry structure is apparent from the start as is the moderately watery and juicy acidity which carries through the dry flavors of graphite in the finish. The wine does come across with some vibrancy and with air shows that it needs time to develop. ***(*) 2018-2023.
2015 Domaine de la Voute des Crozes, Cotes de Brouilly – $17
Imported by Kermit Lynch. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose is subtle yet bright. The tart red fruited entry does build weight into the linear, citric acidity infused middle. There is a touch of ethereal, ripe powdery flavors but that tart start never leaves one’s mind. It finishes with salivating acidity and a ripe hint of citric fruit and tannins left on the gum. **(*) 2017-2020.