Phil has imported the wines of Domaine des Pasquiers for three years now. The trio of 2015 Rhone wines in this post represents the latest offering. 2015 is quite a vintage and all of these wines show significant flavor and stuffing. Of the trio, my favorite is the 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu. It is deep, flavorful, and has grip that I like. As with any proper Cotes du Rhone it will drink well over the next several years. The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet is definitely young and in need of age. I could see it outstep the Plan de Dieu once it is mature but for a bit of raisin flavor. Maybe everything will come together in a couple years, in that case this could be a bit of a sleeper. The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas follows is the house style of modern Gigondas. While I prefer more funk this is certainly impressive with fat notes and a very long aftertaste to boot. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This is a very dark, grapey red color. The familiar, deep flavor leans more towards red fruit than black and is supported by strong, very fine tannic structure and watering acidity. With air herbs and a bit of inkinesss come out. It is certainly very flavorful with a touch of compelling grip, lots of flavor, and a dense almost chocolate finish. *** Now – 2022.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This wine plays it close with black fruited, powdery ripe flavor. There is extract and just the right amount of acidity. The very fine drying structure and wood notes indicate it needs a year or two for integration. The one distraction are fleeting flavors of raisins. **(*) 2018-2024.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This blue fruited wine is strong in flavor and strong in structure. It is a dense, sexy with a modern personality of fat, minerals, and structure. The aftertaste is persistent. *** Now – 2027.
The 2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage must set a benchmark for dense flavor and strength when it comes to Crozes-Hermitage. Perhaps it is atypical for the region but the wine is attractively savory, textured, and lively from acidity. This is a lot to receive from a $20 Northern Rhone Syrah. Give it a try! This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage – $20
Imported by Misa Imports. This wine is 100% Syrah sources from 40 year old vines. Alcohol 13%. This is a dense, savory wine coupled with smooth edges. There is ripe texture made more engaging by the lively acidity. Though this wine has power it is still evocative of the Northern Rhone with its floral notes. *** Now – 2023.
An interesting bottle of 2012 Vigne Marina Coppi, Marine, Colli Tortonesi has remained on my mind since tasted one year ago. I finally tried the Barbera from the same producer. The 2010 Vigne Marina Coppi, Castellania, Colli Tortonesi is from a very good vintage and despite several years of bottle age, it is only beginning to open up. While I recommend you cellar this for at least another year you may drink it on the second day. It is still controlled but the flavors are deep and the addition of floral herbs with a hint of fat is enticing. It is a fine wine at a good price and is still available at MacArthur Beverages.
2010 Vigne Marina Coppi, Castellania, Colli Tortonesi – $23
Imported by The Sorting Table. This wine is 95% Barbera and 5% Freisa which was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol 14.5%. The polish berry nose is followed by similar flavors in the mouth. This wine of tart red and blue fruit has controlled weight and cedar towards the finish. There is good flavor, floral herbs, a hint of fat, and plenty of balanced structure for development. ***(*) 2018- 2025.
The 2013 Vigneto Due Santi, Zonta, Breganze is a unique wine in that the fruit comes from vineyards located on volcanic soils in the north-east of Italy. This particular vintage is quite hefty. The nose eludes to rather ripe fruit and the flavors are packed in with an appealing amount of texture. I would let this age for a couple years then drink a glass or two with a hearty meal. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Vigneto Due Santi, Zonta, Breganze – $22
Imported by Siema LLC. This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and 15-18 months of aging in new barrels. Alcohol 14.0%. The nose is packed with dense raisin and floral aromas backed by both underlying greenhouse and musk notes. In the mouth are similarly dense flavors of purple fruit, baking spices, and oak notes. This is a hefty wine with generous textured. The flavors are polished but it could stand another year or two of integration. *** Now 2018-2026.
Tim’s latest Italian recommendations are a must-try so I feel I should pass them on to you. First is the impeccable 2015 Robert Princic, Gradis’Ciutta, Friulano, Collio. It is lively with the right amount of fruit, weight, and grip. In other words it is both flavorful and pleasing in the mouth. Little did I know that the 2011 Loredan Gasparini, Venegazzu Della Casa, Colli is important in the history of Italian wine. This vintage is the latest in the series of Bordeaux blends which began with the 1951 vintage. Thus Loredan Gasparini made the first Italian Bordeaux blend. This bottle is developing mature notes but the core of the fruit and structural components still exist. There is a sense of tightness and resolve so drink it after double-decanting or better yet in a few years from now. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Robert Princic, Gradis’Ciutta, Friulano, Collio – $19
Imported by Vineyard Brands. This wine is 100% Friulano that was fermented and aged in stainless steel. Alcohol 13.5%. There is a lively start of white fruit and nuts which is delivered in a round character. There are stone notes through the middle, a dry finish with a touch of grip, and a fresh aftertaste. Well articulated. *** Now – 2018.
2011 Loredan Gasparini, Venegazzu Della Casa, Colli – $22
Imported by Dionysos Imports. This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec that was aged 18 months in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 13.5%. There are focused, round and dense flavors of blue and black fruit couple with initial bottled aged notes. This maturity is more ethereal adding complexity throughout. An herbaceous note at the start moves on to lively, dry spices in the middle, and a suggestion of powdery, ripeness in the finish. With air the wine becomes more incensed and takes on a polished wood note. ***(*) Now – 2027.
This bottle of 2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Canary Islands flat out surprised me. On the first night it is certainly light bodied, a bit thin on flavor, and somewhat frail. Though there is enough earthiness and tightness that I recorked the bottle. Over the course of the second night the wine transformed. Jenn succinctly described it as a wine of pepper on the nose and potpourri in the mouth. There is more though, it is a gentle wine that develops a moderate amount of body, appropriate ripeness, and never loses a sense of its volcanic origins. It is actually quite good and I would not be surprised if it is drinking really well by the end of the year. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Canary Islands – $20
A Jose Pastor Selections imported by Llaurador Wines. This is a blend of high-altitude 70-120 year-old Listan Prieto with some Tintilla that was foot trodden, fermented in concrete and tubs with indigenous yeasts then aged 8 months in neutral oak barrels. Alcohol 12.5%. The nose smells of black and white pepper with some dried floral notes. In the mouth this light bodied wine begins with red fruit flavors, a little cranberry, with some ethereal ripeness by the finish. With extended air it develops more weight by the middle with a rather substantial amount of tartness, minerality, and ripe texture. More importantly the old-school potpourri flavor weave its way from start to finish. ***(*) Now – 2022.
As happy as I am to continue drinking the 2014 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino I thought it best to get Tim’s advice on other wines from the region. He first recommended the affordable 2013 Tenuta Vitanza, Le Paturnie, Rosso di Montalcino. This is a firm wine of black fruit that mixes in pleasing herbal notes. It could stand a few years of development to open up perhaps becoming elegant and focused. The 2012 Le Ragnaie, Rosso di Montalcino is a step up in quality and price. The deep nose will excite you and the lively flavors will only add to the positive impression. I highly recommend you drink a few bottles over the next several years. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Tenuta Vitanza, Le Paturnie, Rosso di Montalcino – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest. This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then raised for six months in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 13.5%. This is a firm wine that remains focused with air. There is black fruit with dry herbal notes, polished wood, and an ethereal ripe finish. It remains tight with watering acidity. **(*) 2019-2024.
2012 Le Ragnaie, Rosso di Montalcino – $26
Imported by Vine Street Imports. This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in concrete then aged for 24 months in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 14%. The nose is deep and a touch pungent. The red and blue fruit quickly takes on polished wood notes before the brighter, red middle. There is fine acidity and grip in the end. With air this becomes a lively wine with controlled ripe fruit, a dry and bright middle, stone accented finish, and wood tannin aftertaste. Delicate floral notes even come out. This has strong development potential over the short-term. *** Now – 2026.