The half-bottle format of 2011 Domaine Tempier, Bandol has entered a great drinking period which should continue for some time. The deep flavors are attractively ripe and a few years of bottle age mix nicely with leather and meat. If you are looking for a wine to buy this weekend then grab a few halves and pop one open as soon as you get home. Also for current drinking, albeit at the budget end of things, the 2014 Clos La Coutale, Cahors is a wine to drink mid-week. It is a lithe wine, think black tea and herbs, delivered in a fresh manner. Whereas the Tempier will drink well for years to come the Coutale should be consumed over a year or so. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Domaine Tempier, Bandol – $22 (375mL)
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 75% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, and 2% Carignan sourced from 40+ year old vines, fermented in stainless steel then aged 18-20 months in oak foudres. Alcohol 11%-14%. There is a fine, engaging nose with hints of ripeness. In the mouth is a lively start which soon builds depth, minerals, and grip before coating the gums with a lovely aftertaste. The ripeness of the start dissipates in the middle only to return in the aftertaste. It has already developed meat and leather flavors but the structure and acidity will see development for a few more years. ***(*) Now – 2023.
2014 Clos La Coutale, Cahors – $14
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot sourced from 20+ year old vines fermented in stainless steel then aged in oak foudres and barrels. Alcohol 13.5%. This is an interest wine combining black tea notes with fresh black fruit and acidity. The wine is of lithe profile bringing on drier black fruit, herbs, and a little bit of grip in the finish. There is minimal structure making this a wine for the short-term. ** Now – 2018.
Lou brought a trio of bottles over to go with Thanksgiving leftovers. Coupled with a magnum of Bandol we tasted through some diverse wines. The 1997 Argyle, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley is from a moderate vintage and provides enough interest for a small glass. The wine tastes as if the fruit were not quite ripe when picked. Despite that criticism, the wine itself is chugging along and in no way decrepit. From a much better vintage the 2001 Castello di Brolio, Chianti Classico looks significantly younger than its age. It is full of color and dark red fruit delivered with some bright acidity. While it is not particularly complex, it is in fine shape and made for solid drinking. The magnum of 2007 Domaine de Terrebrune, Bandol proved to be my favorite wine of the night. It is a touch soft at first then opens up to plenty of clean, maturing flavors with an attractive mineral streak. It even seemed racy for a bit. There is no mistaking the 2013 Damiani Wine Cellars, Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes for any other grape. The aromas and flavors work in that lifted greenhouse or vegetal quality to good effect. Actually, the wine is surprisingly packed with flavor.
1997 Argyle, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Alcohol 13.5%. More stemmy flavors the fruit at this point but the lifted fruit is still there in the form of bright, dry red fruit. It tastes a bit short of ripe fruit. With enough interest for a small glass it is more remarkable for holding up this long. * Now.
2001 Castello di Brolio, Chianti Classico
Imported by Paterno Wines International. Alcohol 13.5%. Surprisingly dark but on closer inspection there is a garnet hint on the edge. In the mouth are dark red fruit flavors, polished wood, and unfortunately a touch of heat in the end. The flavors are dry with a generally bright outlook. There is even some structure. Overall this is a very solid wine that is simply not too complex. ** Now – 2018.
2007 Domaine de Terrebrune, Bandol en magnum
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 85% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache, and 5% Cinsault. Alcohol 14%. It is subtle for just a bit before the flavors accelerate through the mouth with a racy, mineral quality. *** Now – 2018.
2013 Damiani Wine Cellars, Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol 13.5%. Fairly attractive nose of red and blue fruit marked by lifted greenhouse aromas. The flavors bear the same vegetal hint but it works well with the fruit. There is quite a bit of stuffing and freshness to make this enjoyable. ** Now – 2017.
It is only through friends that I have been able to drink a handful of wines from Cayuse Vineyards. Lou was curious to try one of his bottles so we recently gathered in his kitchen to taste some wines while we ate cheeses, charcuterie, and pasta. We started with the demi-sec 2010 François Chidaine, Les Tuffeaux, Montlouis Sur Loire. The complex aromas and flavors were immediately apparent and perhaps due to the rather long fermentation period. At first I wished it had a bit more acidity but then on the second night it all came into balance. I would suggest you buy this outstanding value for your cellar. Lou had opened the 2007 Cayuse Vineyards, God Only Knows, Walla Walla Valley some 13 hours ahead then decanted before the tasting. Even then it showed more complexity on the second night! This was a bigger wine but the red fruit flavors were light and delivered with precise mouthfeel. Beautiful stuff! Finally we came to the trio from Domaine du Gros ‘Noré. These wines were double-decanted about three hours before we tasted them. These are, perhaps, prototypical classic Bandol with brawn and ample structure. Our bottle of 2005 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol was marred by some volatile acidity that was present on the nose but not distracting from the good, maturing flavor. The 2007 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol was my favorite due to its combination of concentrated fruit, minerals, racy flavors, and balance. It is just entering its drinking window so this is a wine to look out for. The 2011 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol remained young with its grapey flavors but also shutdown. I had a hard time getting a sense of its future but I would not be surprised if, with bottle age, it developed like the 2007.
2010 François Chidaine, Les Tuffeaux, Montlouis Sur Loire
Imported by Dionysos Imports. This demi-sec wine is 100% Chenin Blanc sourced from multiple parcels of vines 30-90 years of age. The fruit was fermented with indigenous yeasts in demi-muids for up to six months and did not undergo malolactic fermentation. It was then aged for 11 months on fine lees in demi-muids. Alcohol 13%. The nose was fragrant, textured, and round with aromas of miso, sweet notes then apples. In the mouth was a round start followed by earthy, mineral flavors. There was some residual sugar but also some tannin. The earthy, grass flavors were picked up with food. The acidity was more in a supportive role but became more noticeable on the second evening when the wine was more fruit driven. There was a slight oxidative hint. ***(*) Now-2024.
2007 Cayuse Vineyards, God Only Knows, Walla Walla Valley
This wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% “god only knows” sourced from the Armada Vineyard. It was aged in used puncheons purchased from Rene Rostaing. Alcohol 15.2%. This was a big wine but the brighter, lighter red fruit brought forth very attractive cherry flavors. There was a slight wood hint with an uncrushable mouthfeel from glycerin. With air it seamlessly developed complex flavors of oranges, exotic plants, stems, and unique flavors. **** Now-2029.
2005 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 80% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, 5% Cinsault sourced from 30 year old vines on soils of clay. The grapes were partially de-stemmed then aged for 18 months in oak foudres. Alcohol 15%. The color was a medium, garnet infused. The volatile acidity did pick up a bit on the nose, present but not distracting because the fruit and wood hints were still there. In the mouth were savory, earthy flavors that mixed with wood box. The flavors improved with air showing firm, black fruit at the start followed by sweet cherry and strawberry. The finish was robust with some heat and roughness. The aftertaste was long leaving a coating of firm minerals. *** Now-2019.
2007 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 80% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, 5% Cinsault sourced from 30 year old vines on soils of clay. The grapes were partially de-stemmed then aged for 18 months in oak foudres. Alcohol 15%. This showed good concentration of fruit with a racy and inky midpalate presence. There were flavors of black fruit, hints of red fruit, and minerals as the tannins coated the gums in the finish. This was youngful, all around balanced, and has a long life ahead. Well done. ***(*) Now-2022.
2011 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 80% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, 5% Cinsault sourced from 30 year old vines on soils of clay. The grapes were partially de-stemmed then aged for 18 months in oak foudres. Alcohol 15%. The color was a medium cranberry red, showing youth. The good nose made way to red punch flavored fruit. The wine developed black fruit flavors but in general remained very tightly played. It was dense, a little round, and had hints of grapey fruit in the rather firm tannic structure. The aftertaste brought fine drying tannins and a touch of heat in the back of the throat. Good flavor, definitely needs age. *** 2018-2026.
Just a quick post today as I spent the morning on history related correspondence. While all of the wines featured in today’s post are satisfying selections the 2011 Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat, La Nine, Minervois stands out. From the deep aromas to the downright tasty flavors this is a wine to purchase by the case. This complex blend is hard to resist at this stage but should see further development through the winter. Do not miss out! These wines were purchased at Weygandt-Wines.
2011 Domaine Alary, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 15% Carignan. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose bore robust and raw aromas. In the mouth the young fruit had ripe flavors, tartness, and ripe, spiced tannins. It developed a nice inky aspect. **(*) 2015-2020.
2012 Domaine Le Clos du Serres, Les Maros, Terrasses du Larzac – $22
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Carignan. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose revealed a mixture of cranberry and other red fruits. In the mouth were pure flavors of black, tart fruit. The tartness was more of an edge with the wine showing less intensity and better balanced on the second night. The wine had a little ripeness, clean flavors, spot of acidity, and some tannins. Drinking well now. *** Now-2016.
2011 La Bastide Blanche, Rouge, Bandol – $25
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 76% Mourvedre, 16% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 2% Cinsault, and 1% Carignan. Alcohol 15%. The nose was meaty with deep fruit aromas. In the mouth the clean fruit slowly expanded to take on racy, intensely mineral flavors. The tight and fine yet ripe tannins coated the gum. With air the wine show density but kept a freshness that made it approachable now. There was a red fruit and meat note in the finish. This should develop for some time. *** Now-2026.
2011 Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat, La Nine, Minervois – $22
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah. Alcohol 14%. There were deep, attractive aromas. In the mouth were earthy, berry flavors; simply lovely flavor. It was a little savory with a rather moderate structure. This attractive wine developed a flavor of black fruit with cream before the savory, mixed blue fruit of the finish. Attractive. ***(*) Now-2019.
If you follow Eric Asimov then you know the 2010 La Bastide Blanche, Bandol is the second recommended wine in his recent article Taming of the Bestial Bandol. I suspect this explains why there is no longer any stock at Weygandt Wines. After tasting this wine I can understand why. It is aromatic and flavorful in the mouth with savory flavors that fill the mouth with complexity and minerals. This is the type of wine Jenn and I love so if your tastes are aligned to ours then grab all that you can before it disappears. Tasted over two nights it drank best on the second night so either decant a bottle now or cellar it for the short-term. This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages who has now run out of stock.
2010 La Bastide Blanche, Bandol – $25
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of mostly Mourvedre with Grenache and Cinsault. Alcohol 14.5%. There was a complex nose of fresh herbs, lavender, potpourri, and red fruit. In the mouth were minerally, compact flavors of red and black fruit from the start. This savory wine was meaty and though still controlled, had mouthfilling flavors. There were moderate tannins and a little sour cherry at the start. There were ample notes of black minerals, watering acidity, and a persistent aftertaste. ***(*) Now-2026.
We continue to taste a variety of wines at home despite the various tasting I have attending over the last month. The three wines featured in this post were particularly good. The Domaine Hauvette is in a beautiful spot right now but should last for some time. On the other hand the Chateau Sainte Anne is in a tight, clamped down phase. I was a bit disappoinated the first night but on the second night it turned around to our delight. Do keep this in your cellar. The Domaine du Gros ‘Noré is also young but it is completely drinkable with several hours of air. It will be certainly develop in the cellar but has very attractive flavors. Jenn could barely resist keeping the leftovers for the following night. The Domaine Hauvette and Chateau Ste Anne were purchased at Chambers Street Wines. The Domaine du Gros ‘Noré was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2006 Domaine Hauvette, Le Roucas, Les Baux de Provence – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections. This is a blend of roughly 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was fermented with indigenous yeast then aged for one year in 20-30year old oak barrels. Only a little sulphur is used in bottling. Alcohol 13.5%. The color is a light to medium ruby with a touch of age. The light nose reveals red fruit, herbs, a touch of tobacco. It became lighter on the second night. The mouthfilling red fruit mixes with herbs and has levity. There are more dried herbs, gentle weight, acidity, and some density. The finish is lifted and followed by a very good aftertaste where there are some spicy and ripe, drying tannins. *** Now-2018.
2005 Chateau Sainte Anne, Bandol –
Imported by Fruit of the Vines. This wine is a blend of 60% Mourvedre with the rest Cinsault and Grenache. It was fermented in non-temperature controlled stainless steel vats. It was aged for 20-22 months in very old foudres. Alcohol 12.5%. The nose is light with black and red fruit, then with air, black fruit and herbs. In the mouth there is some density to the fruit along with fine+ drying tannins from the beginning. There is good watering acidity with tannins that dry and coat the lips in the finish where there are tight, licorice flavors. The aftertaste brings black fruit, dried herbs, and spice. This drank much better on the second night with dry red fruit, savory flavors, and coating tannins. **(*) 2017-2028.
2009 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol – $36
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 80% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache, and 5% Cinsault sourced from 30 year old vines on clay soils. It was aged for 18 months in oak foudres. Alcohol 15%. The nose reveals fresh berries. In the mouth there are focused flavors of sweet, spiced fruit along with flavors evocative of tropical fruit. The interesting profile starts off a bit hard but responds well to air. After 2-3 hours it becomes savory, grapey, and purple towards the finish where it is somewhat incensed. ***(*) Now-2025.
Phil recommended this bottle just a few weeks ago while it was still summer. Despite our recent transition to fall the weather has remained warm and very humid which means I am still drinking rose. Why not pick up a few more bottles of rose to invoke recent, relaxing memories? This is a serious wine which I think is strongly priced for Bandol. This bottle is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Domaine de la Roche Redonne, Mas Redonne, Rose, Bandol – $17
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils. This wine is a blend of 55% Mourvedre, 35% Cinsault, and 10% Grenache. TA 3.46 g/L, RS 0.23 g/L, pH 3.28, Alcohol 12.5%. The color is a light salmon rose. The nose reveals dried floral and red grapefruit aromas followed by textured, sweet spices. The mouth follows the nose with dry, delicate red fruit, a little dusty in texture, and fresh acidity. There are some ripe tannins and spices in the finish and aftertaste. All of this is delivered with confidence and moderate weight. In the end this is quite a pretty wine for drinking over the next several years. *** Now-2015.