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A pair of Cotes du Rhone

May 14, 2018 1 comment

In retrospect, I can see how the 2016 Raymond Usseglio, Les Claux, Cotes du Rhone uses fruit from a site next to Lirac.  There is that firm structure yet there is enough fruit to support development over the next few years.  There is no need to hold back on the 2015 Domaine Alary, La Brunote, Cairanne.  This dark fruited, creamy wine has much to offer now but still manages to develop in the glass.  While it is a forward wine, it should be even better in a year or two.  You may find these wines at Weygandt-Wines.

 

2016 Raymond Usseglio, Les Claux, Cotes du Rhone – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is an equal blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre sourced from a lieu dit next to Lirac.  Alcohol 14%.  Mixed berries, brambly fruit, fresh acidity, and citric tannins all merge together in this young wine.  There is brightness to the blue and black fruit with the flavors becoming even blacker with air.  The structure also comes out providing enough dry, framework for the fairly exuberant flavors.  *** Now – 2027.

2015 Domaine Alary, La Brunote, Cairanne – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 10% Carignan raised in concrete.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There are creamy and rounded flavors of blue fruit in this modest bodied wine.  It soon reacts to air with the blue fruit complemented by stones, a smoke hint, and a supportive structure of promising tannins for development.  There is savory weight through the very mineral and black/graphite aftertaste.  ***(*) Now – 2024.

A trio of Cotes du Rhone

Cotes du Rhone upon release is fun but it  also is with a few years of age.  The 2012 Domaine Alary, L’Estevenas, Cairanne  is still bright and lively but there are pleasingly mature flavors to be enjoyed right now.  Pure, grapey, and deep-fruited the 2015 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone offers a good level of intensity.   The 2015 Saint-Damien, Vieilles Vignes, Plan de Dieu is another must-try wine.  I have recommended the wines of Plan de Dieu before.  If you still haven’t tried one then grab this bottle!  The Charvin was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.  The Alary and Saint-Damien were purchased at Weygandt-Wines.

2012 Domaine Alary, L’Estevenas, Cairanne – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%. Black fruit on the nose. This is a bright wine of mulberry flavors which still sports grip. There is watering acidity, a mixture of grip and garrigue, and hints of structure in the end. Notes of maturity do come out but the wine is still lively at the start. *** Now – 2023.

2015 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 81% Grenache, 7% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah, and 5% Carignan.  Alcohol 14%. This is a pure, grapey and deep fruited wine very much in the Charvin style. The middle is perfumed and mineral, eventually take on floral notes. There is just a touch of heat giving away the vintage. *** Now – 2023.

 

2015 Saint-Damien, Vieilles Vignes, Plan de Dieu – $17
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 14.5%. Kirsch on the nose. There is a bright, clean start which soon builds midpalate depth to the red fruit. There are additional flavors of dense black fruit and minerals by the end. There are tons of flavor to which bramble and red meat add complexity. This enjoyable in this youthful, modestly structured state. *** Now – 2025.

Recent French Wines

November 7, 2016 Leave a comment

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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.

Galuval and Yann Chave from the North and the South

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment

I always love trying wines from the Rhone.  My first experience with the 2012 Domaine de Galuval, Cairanne, Cotes du Rhone Villages was very enjoyable. This combined effort with advisor Philippe Cambie has resulted in a wine full of outstanding components.   It is not a rippling wine rather one that is coiled and should fully reveal itself next year.  The 2012 Yann Chave, Classic, Crozes Hermitage clearly moves to the north with its meaty aromas and clean flavors.  It is drinkable now but I would give resist opening a bottle it until the winter.  The Yann Chave was purchased at Weygandt Wines and the Galuval at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Domaine de Galuval, Cairanne, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $18
Imported by OSLO Enterprise.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault.  Alcohol 14%.  The nice nose was followed by mouth filling flavors of cherries and red fruit.  The ripe tannins left a drying texture on the gums followed by an inky aftertaste.  This wine is still young for it maintained coiled flavors and a certain firmness.  **(*) 2015-2020.

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2012 Yann Chave, Classic, Crozes Hermitage – $27
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Syrah.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose bore slightly meaty aromas of fresh fruit.  In the mouth were clean flavors of black fruit with noticeable acidity on the tongue.  With air this wine showed young fruit flavors of meaty, purple fruit, that was attractively perfumed and incensed.  It left a gentle ripeness in the aftertaste.  Drinking well now but should improve over the short term.  **(*) Now-2018.

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Four Robust Reds

September 8, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Approaching Its Peak, the 2006 Marcel Richaud, Cairanne

February 5, 2014 Leave a comment

The 2006 Domaine Richaud, Cairanne is a lovely wine that is effortlessly taking on bottle age.  The nose remained subtle compared to the palate where the clean fruit, fresh acidity, and rustic tannins are enhanced by a hint of glycerine.  This makes it not only a tasty wine but one to work in the mouth.  I suspect it is a few years out from its peak so you can cellar this further or pop a bottle now, just give it some air.   This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2006 Domaine Marcel Richaud, Cairanne, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $27
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This wine is a blend of 36% Grenache, 38% Mourvèdre, 18% Syrah, and 8% Carignan sourced from vines over 25 years of age.  The wine is raised in a mixture of concrete and large barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose continued to reveal red fruit and roast.  In the mouth were focused ripe, red fruit, wood notes, with some firmness toward the finish where sweet blue fruit came out.  The acidity was fresh and the pleasing tannins, rustic.  With air the wine took on a rounder character showing density, a hint of glycerine, and old wood notes.  A nice wine that is progressing towards maturity.  *** Now – 2020.

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Four Recently Enjoyed French Wines

Today’s post features four French wines which I recently tasted.  Both the 2012 Domaine des Braves, Regnie and the 2011 Domaine Rimbert, Les Travers de Marceau are youthful wines which I highly recommend.  They both remind me of clean, fresh fruit.  Take a close look at the Rimbert label for the “2011” vintage year is hand stamped over the old “2010.”  When I met Elisabeth Saladin of Domaine Saladin just over one year ago I got to taste the 2007 Domaine Saladin, Fan de Lune.  You may read my impressions of that and other wines in my post Tasting the Wines of Elisabeth Saladin at MacArthur Beverages.  Since then the wine has developed a pebbly texture and dried herbal flavors.   The 2007 Domaine de Alary, La Font d’Estevenas reveals riper fruit and more overall drive.  It has developed some maturity and should continue to do so over the next several years but will last longer.  I enjoyed all four wines but if I had to pick only two then I would go with the Domaine des Braves and the Domaine Rimbert. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Domaine des Braves, Regnie – $16
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is 100% Gamay.  The whole-cluster fruit was fermented in cement.  Alcohol 13%.  The scented nose revealed good aromas of red currant and raspberry.  In the mouth there were fresh red berries and a tiny pepper note which mixed with the tart acidity and bit of structure.  The wine developed strawberry flavors and learn red fruit with black minerals.  There were very fine, grapey tannins.  *** Now-2016.

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2011 Domaine Rimbert, Les Travers de Marceau, Saint-Chinian – $15
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Carignan. Alcohol 12.5%.  The enjoyable nose revealed macerated raspberries and perfumed aromas.  In the mouth there were tart red flavors that were round.  The mouth then followed the nose with a very fine berry purple texture and grapey personality.  A nice wine!  *** Now-2016.

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2007 Domaine Saladin, Fan de Lune, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $20
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is mostly Mourvedre with some Grenache and Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines.  The vineyards are high in minerals with galets roules.  Vinification depends upon the varietal with aging for nine months in foudres.  Alcohol 11-14%.  In the mouth there was almost pebbly fruit which mixed with dried herbs.  The dry flavors mixed with the tannins.  It showed some weight with air along with flavors of dried herbs, a hint of citrus, and ripeish-wood box tannins.  ** Now-2017.

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2007 Domaine Alary, La Font d’Estevenas, Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne – $25
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah sourced from a vineyard planted in 1961.   Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was robust with mulberry and black grapey aromas.  The wine starts with ripe flavors of red and blue fruit, a hint of maturity, and a little tang.  There was some weight and drive to the fruit.  With air the flavors become drier with the mature notes developing in the middle.  The flavors expand in the mouth but the wine maintains a sense of lightness in the finish.  *** Now-2020.

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