Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Cotes Catalanes’

A group of mostly red Rhones

The 2013 La Bastide Saint Dominique, Cuvee Jules Rochebonne, Cotes du Rhone is the latest vintage of a cuvee I have long liked.  The flavors will evoke previous vintages but this 2013 offering is a bit firm with less intensity.  It is still a wine worthing drinking for its flavor.  A sound value in black, minerally Gigondas is the 2012 Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux, La Tour Sarrasine, Gigondas.  This is quite tight with a does of tannins typical of Gigondas so give it a few years in the cellar.  I was not prepared for the beautiful nose and flavors of the 2014 Domaine de Coste Chaude, Cuvee Madrigal, Cotes du Rhone Villages Visan.  This floral wine already shows good complexity all around but should please for several more years to come.  If you want to drink liquid rocks then look no further than the 2013 Lafage, Tessellae, Cotes Catalanes.  This lovely value should hit its stride later this year.  Priced at $12 the 2013 Kermit Lynch, Cypress Cuvee, Cotes du Rhone will provide a bit of everything you may want from a Cotes du Rhone.   Drink this gentle wine by the case.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

MostlyRhones1

2013 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%. The good nose smells of perfumed young fruit. In the mouth this wine is definitely firm with a dose of tannins. The flavors are lighter but true to the cuvee. It wraps up with another dose of structure, some vanilla, and a bit of roughness. **(*) 2017-2023.

MostlyRhones2

2012 Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux, La Tour Sarrasine, Gigondas – $20
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils. This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre sourced from vines averaging 50 years of age. Alcohol 14.5%. There is a dark start before red and eventually black, mineral flavors come out. There is a touch of inky lipstick. This is a rather mineral wine with dry flavors. Clearly young, this leaves very fine tannins on the gums. ***(*) 2018-2023.

MostlyRhones4

2014 Domaine de Coste Chaude, Cuvee Madrigal, Cotes du Rhone Villages Visan – $15
Imported by DS Trading Company. This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, and 30% Syrah. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose is floral with young spiced fruit. Actually, it is quite beautiful. The purple and black fruited flavors are dry with a persistant floral quality. The flavors build in ripeness yet there is a dry texture through the finish. The acidity, though integrated, is very much present. With air the wine takes on more weight with minerals and a very dry, firm, bitter flavored finish. *** Now – 2020.

MostlyRhones3

2013 Lafage, Tessellae, Cotes Catalanes – $15
Imported by Eric Solomon/ European Cellars.  This wine is 100% old-vine Carignan sourced from schist soils.  Alcohol 14.5%. The bright, yet firm black and red fruit took some some black, ripe flavors by the finish. The wine tastes as if sourced from stone soils with watering acidity and a building intensity of minerals and stones. Needs a wee bit of age to open up. **(*) 2016-2020.

MostlyRhones5

2013 Kermit Lynch, Cypress Cuvee, Cotes du Rhone – $12
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This blend of mostly Grenache with Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvedre is sourced from vines averaging 40 years of age.  It was fermented and aged in cement tanks.  Alcohol 13.5 %. The linear black fruit flavors have a ripeness matched by the coarse tannins. The wine becomes gentler towards the finish with a light amount of structure and watering acidity suitable for a wee bit of age. I just wish the fruit intensity stepped up at the end. ** 2016-2019.

MostlyRhones6

Basement Bottles from France and Austria

March 27, 2015 2 comments

In case you are wondering if I am trapped beneath my wine fridge, I am not.  I simply ran out of time between re-arranging our entire house so that our hardwood floors could be refinished and doing some quick turnaround research.  Despite my absence of writing I continue to taste wine in our  basement encampment.  And despite this short post I recommend you pick up both the 2012 Domaine de Majas, Syrah, Ravin des Sieurs, Cotes Catalanes and 2012 Markus Huber, Hugo Red, Niederösterreich.  The former is a little more serious whereas the later is all fun.  Enjoy! These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

BasementBottles1

2012 Domaine de Majas, Syrah, Ravin des Sieurs, Cotes Catalanes – $18
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 35 year old vines on clay and limestone with schist soils.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in concrete.  Alcohol 12.5%.  There was grapey red fruit on the nose that opened up to good, dark fruit aromas.  In the mouth the tangy fruit was up front with acidity on the front of the tongue.  The dry black fruit was matched by attractive, drying tannins on the gums.  There were brighter flavors and salivating acidity in the finish.  With air this wine showed acidity and structure for short term age but maintained levity.  A nice wine.  *** Now-2019.

BasementBottles2

2012 Markus Huber, Hugo Red, Niederösterreich  – $12
Imported by Broadbent Selections.  This wine is a blend of Zweigelt and Gamay which was fermented in stainless steel then aged in both stainless steel and large oak barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  There was an attractive, light and articulate nose of black fruit with underlying greenhouse aromas.  There was a little more ripeness in the mouth around a core of cherry black fruit.  There was  a slight, ripe tannic structure.  With air the wine took on some weight, cocoa flavors, and a bit of a silky feel.  *** Now-2016.

BasementBottles3

Mature and earthy wines from Domaine Matassa

This pair of wines from Domaine Matassa represents the latest in a string of unique wines now available at MacArthur Beverages.  The proprietor of the domaine, Tom Lubbe is a New Zealander who came to the Roussillon by way of South Africa.  He actually worked with Gerard Gauby of Domaine Gauby and in marrying his sister, he established himself in France.  For a detailed background please read Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes from Domaine Matassa.  I first poured the 2009 Domaine Matassa, Blanc, VdP des Cotes Catalanes without regard to the vintage.  The maturity of the wine was immediately obvious which tickled me since this is a current release.  If you like apple-orchards and mature white wine, even Chardonnay based, then you must grab a bottle.  It drinks great right now but there is enough grip, tannins, and acidity that this will last for some time.  while I usually proceed from white to red I normally do not move to a younger vintage.  For me the 2011 Domaine Matassa, El Sarrat, VdP des Cotes Catalanes was all about the earthy, animale aromas and flavors that infused the redder fruit.  It was a bit much for Jenn and I am sure it will for others, but for me it was in balance.  Good stuff!

Matassa1

2009 Domaine Matassa, Blanc, VdP des Cotes Catalanes – $35
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache Gris and 30% Maccabeu sourced from vines on soils of schists and slate slopes.  The fruit was whole bunch pressed in a wooden basket-press, fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged on the lees for 18 months in barrel.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a light to medium nut colored straw.  The nose was nutty at first then revealed apple fruit aromas and maturity.  The wine was gently round with almost lifted flavors that became savory and racy.  With air the wine tightened up to show more grip with tannins on the gums and a long aftertaste of white and amber apples.  **** Now-2018.

Matassa2

2011 Domaine Matassa, El Sarrat, VdP des Cotes Catalanes – $33
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Mourvedre sourced from vines on soils of schists and slate slopes.  The fruit was destemmed, underwent gentle foot-treading, fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 14 months in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  There were generous earthy aromas mixing with red berries and a natural wine hint.  In the mouth were dry, lifted flavors with the acidity on the front of the tongue.  The flavors were certainly earthy and foxy.  The wine cleaned up with air showing red and black fruit with minerals, a drying structure, citrus hints in the finish, good grip, and a long, fresh animale aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2022?

Matassa3

Wines from La Vrille et Le Papillon, La Folie Lucé, and Jean-Louis Tribouley

September 12, 2014 1 comment

The wines features in today’s post comes from three very different regions of the Rhone, Loire, and Roussillon.  What they have in common, beyond the importer, is they are smaller, individually driven efforts.  The 2012 La Vrille et Le Papillon, Z Rouge, Ardeche bears a “Z” for zero-sulphur.   I thought this was evident on the nose but in no way were the flavors strange.  This wine needs a bit of air for the interesting flavors to come out at which point it drinks well.  The 2010 La Folie Lucé, Autrement, Saumur Champigny shows an interesting herbaceousness but in this case it is wildly tropical.  Though it is young and best left in the cellar, the nervy quality is attractive.  There is a strong future for the 2010 Jean-Louis Tribouley, Orchis Vieilles Vignes, VdP des Cotes Catalanes.  From the tobacco aromas to the floral infused fruit there is a lot to like.  I would leave it in the cellar or wine fridge for a few years to let it relax and open up.  So perhaps drink the La Vrille et Le Papillon now while you let the La Folie Lucé and Jean-Louis Troubley improve in the cellar.   These wines were purchased at Weygandt Wines.

Weygandt1

2012 La Vrille et Le Papillon, Z Rouge, Ardeche – $26
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Syrah, completely organic, and bottled without sulphur. Alcohol 12.5%.  The light nose mixed berries, natural wine aromas, and tea smoked berries.  In the mouth were incensed flavors of dry, bright fruit that was underlaid by black fruit and acidity.  The flavors remained tart with a bit of a spicy tannins.  The tannins coated the sides of the cheeks.  With air the wine developed flavors of graphite, young fine fruit, and a light orange-wood note.  *** Now-2019.

Weygandt2

2010 La Folie Lucé, Autrement, Saumur Champigny – $40
Imported by Weygandt-Wines.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from vines averaging 30 years of age on more chalky soils. It was raised in used oak barrels. Alcohol 13.8%.  There was an interesting nose of black fruit and aromas from a greenhouse full of tropical plants.  The mouth followed the nose with rounded red and black fruit that had a nervy tartness.  There were tight, ripe flavors then some ripe tannins on the gums, followed but  a tart, citrus pith aftertaste.  **(*) 2015-2020.

Weygandt3

2010 Jean-Louis Tribouley, Orchis Vieilles Vignes, VdP des Cotes Catalanes – $30
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Cinsault.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The attractive nose bore aromas of focused ripe berries and tobacco.  In the mouth were both tart and ripe flavors of black and red fruit that left citric tannins on the g um.  The wine was a little chewy with long tannins that were a little spicy and matched a Big Red flavor.  This was a good, young wine that became better with air.  It eventually took on violet infused black fruit, some lipstick, and dry spices.  **(*) 2016-2024.

Weygandt4

Four From France

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Of the four wines below you may drink the 2012 Domaine La Ferme Saint-Martin, La gerine while the 2009 Domaine La Casenove, La Garrigue ages.  The later was surprisingly well balanced and remained tight over two nights so definitely leave it alone in the cellar.  The 2009 Domaine du Traginer, Collioure is approachable at this point but I would cellar it to develop complexity.   I gather the 2011 Axel Prufer, Four du roi, Le temps de cerises is a “natural wine”.  The nose is certainly unique and stimulating to smell.  Otherwise it is a grapey wine to drink now.  It was not my preferred style.  The Domaine La Casenove was purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the rest at Chambers Street Wines.

France2

2009 Domaine La Casenove, La Garrigue, Cotes Catalanes – $18
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, and 30% Syrah.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose remained tight with whiffs of herbs and black fruit.  In the mouth were concentrated ripe fruit, a hint of woodbox, and a Bordeaux like nature.  With air there were focused ripe, black fruit, cool acidity before becoming dry and firm in the finish.  There was good clean, balance all around so this wine should develop quite well.  **(*) 2015-2025.

France3

2009 Domaine du Traginer, Collioure – $19
Imported by De Maison Selections.  This wine is a blend of 25% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 25% Carignan.  Alcohol 13.5%,  The wine starts a little soft and encompassing then builds good blue fruit with texture and some tartness.  The tannins were enjoyable and evident in the finish, along with acidity.  This is a young but approachable example of affordable Collioure.  **(*) 2015-2022.

France4

2012 Domaine La Ferme Saint-Martin, La gerine, Ventoux – $13
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  Alcohol 13%.  The flavors were a little tart with red fruit and orange peel that became a little round.  The ripe citric acidity on the tongue mixed with the orange and red flavors.  The wine was on the lighter side but had serious, young fruit.  Despite the fruity  structure this is an early drinking wine.  ** Now-2014.

France1

2011 Axel Prufer, Four du roi, Le temps de cerises – $23
Imported by Fruit of the Vines. This wine is a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 30% Carignan, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon with was produced using carbonic maceration and no sulphur. Alcohol 12%.  The nose bore a mixture of old and vintage perfumes, evocative of a 1980s “country store.”  The wine was prickly at first then settled down, like a grapey natural wine with red fruit.  The flavors were acidity driven with plenty of mid-plate acidity and the tiniest Pilsner hint.  ** Now.

France5

Drinking New Wines With Lou

August 28, 2013 2 comments

Between the end of summer vacation and the start of the school year, Lou and I managed to squeeze in a quick gathering to taste some wine.  We both opened several recent purchases from Weygandt Wines, Premier Cru, and Chambers Street Wines.  I was thoroughly pleased with what we tasted.  The NV Salinia Wine Company, Twenty Five Reasons bore the expected skin contact notes but otherwise was completely surprising in profile.  I preferred it after half an hour of air from the top of the bottle, before it took on a strong citrus profile.  If you want a different wine that is drinkable, complex, and affordable then pick up a bottle.  The 2011 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Blanc slowly opened up with air to become an engaging wine.  I thought it drank best the first night yet it also seems young, so try a bottle next year.  Lou had opened up the 2009 Pascal Lahcuax, Pinot Fin the night before so my first glass was fully open.  Pascal Lachaux is the son-in-law of Robert Arnoux.  The quality of his fruit and wine making was clearly evident in this bottle.  Very enjoyable and one I recommend you try.  The 2010 Farmers Jane Wine Co., Field Red took some air before the balance of complexity and freshness made it one of my favorite wines of the evening.  This wine is the joint venture of Angela Osbone of A Tribute to Grace Wine Company and Faith Armstrong of Onward Wines.  I recommend you try a bottle or two.  The 2011 Birichino Amici, Grenache Vieilles Vignes remained drier, tighter, and firmer over two nights.  It might just need some time so try it again at the new year.

Recent1

NV Salinia Wine Company, Twenty Five Reasons, Petillant White Wine, Mendocino –  $22
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from 42-43 year old parcel of organic vines in Redwood Valley.  They were was skin fermented with indigenous yeasts.  It is a blend of 10% 2012 vintage, 85% 2011 vintage, and 5% from reserve barrels of 2010 and 2009 vintages.  Alcohol 12%.  The wine is cloudy.  The nose begins with complex, ripe, floral, skin contact aromas.  On the second day it bore stronger grapefruit aromas.  In the mouth the wine is bubbly at first then quickly becomes petillant as it warms up and breaths.  It almost becomes a still wine.  It was quite good after half an hour with lemon and citrus flavors then with warmth complex orange peel and wet baking spices.  It becomes tart with air and towards the bottom of the bottle.  *** Now.

Recent2

2011 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Blanc, VdP des Cotes Catalanes –
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 50% Muscat, 30% Chardonnay, and 20% Macabeu sourced from 15-50 year old vines.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged on the fine lees for eight months.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose bore floral, white tropical undertones, stones, and with warmth, melon and bitters.  In the mouth there was a little yellow and white fruit mixed with acidity.  Then the wine fleshes out a little with a tropical bit coming out.  It has some weight, orange peel, and a spine of flavors.  **(*) 2014-2017.

Recent3

2009 Pascal Lachaux, Pinot Fin, Bourgogne – $27
Imported by Premier Cru.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir from 60+ year old vines on old Pinot Fin rootstock sourced from blocks in several villages, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanee, and Nuit-Saint-Georges.  The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was very finely textured with herbs, cardamom like spices, with a hint of fruit underneath.  The flavors were similar in the mouth but with more red fruit.  The wine was gentle but firm with focused ripeness, black cherry, and a modest structure in the finish.  A nice wine.  *** Now-2019.

Recent4

2010 Farmers Jane Wine Co., Field Red, Santa Barbara County – $26
This wine is a blend of 93% Grenache from 60-80 year old vines sourced from the Watch Hill Vineyard and 7% Carignan from 60-80 year old vines from the Hawkeye Ranch which were aged in neutral oak.  Alcohol 14.3%.  The nose was fresh, almost crisp, with baking spices.  In the mouth were ripe strawberry and red fruit flavors that mixed complexity with freshness.  It was a light wine with a little weight and moderate, salivating acidity.  It took on a floral complexity until the finish where good bitters-like flavors came out followed by a woodsy note in the aftertaste.  Perhaps some minerals.  *** Now -2014.

Recent5

2011 Birichino Amici, Grenache Vieilles Vignes, Besson Vineyard, Central Coast – $26
This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from 101 year old vines. Alcohol 13.5%.  In the mouth there was redder fruit with a slightly, powdery ripeness.  The acidity and dryness builds into a fine, pebbly textured finish.  The wine remained tighter in flavor and firmer in the finish.  ** 2014-2019.

Recent6

Two Excellent French Wines, Both Aged in Concrete

Normally we taste new wines over the course of two evenings.  We did this with the 2011 Domaine Lafage, Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes, I even took notes from two different bottles.  When it came to the 2011 M&S Ogier D’Ampius, Le Temps Est Venu we could not resist finishing the bottle in one night.  So perhaps my tasting note or score short-change the wine but what is more important is that I highly recommend you try it.  I know I shall drink it again.   Ogier is a master of the Northern Rhone but he is certainly adept in the Southern Rhone.  The Lafage provides tremendous amounts of flavor for the money.    It is a rich wine which is youthful and I suspect is going to change over the next year.  I recommend you try that as well.  Whereas I could drink several glasses of the Ogier I might be limited to one or two of the Lafage.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

concrete1

2011 M&S Ogier D’Ampius, Le Temps Est Venu, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $19
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah and Mourvedre sourced from the Plan de Dieu.  It was aged for one year in concrete vats.  Alcohol 14%.  From the first pour there is a beautiful and slightly pungent nose of strawberries, blackberries.  In the mouth there were good strawberry flavors, rich but with structure and supportive acidity.  There is a grainy berry texture, drier flavors, and a somewhat old-school aspect.  *** Now – 2017.

concrete2

2011 Domaine Lafage, Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes, Cotes Catalanes IGP – $16
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache which was aged in concrete.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose reveals ample grainy, strawberry and red berries.  In the mouth there are grapey flavors of ripe strawberry, raspberry, and underlying black fruit. There is undeniably a lot of flavor with integrated acidity, black inky notes in the finish, and grapey, ripe, gentle tannins.  The aftertaste is mouthfilling.  *** Now-2018.

concrete3