Posts Tagged ‘Cotes du Roussillon’

Two Affordable Wines for the Shutdown

January 24, 2019 1 comment

As the shutdown continues and a second missed paycheck is all but inevitable, today’s post features two wines that offer plenty of flavor at attractive prices.  The 2013 Domaine Boudau, Clot del Pila, Les Gargolines, Cotes du Roussillon might the best value out there. It is a personable wine about to reach its open, mature period.  This means you can tuck away a few cases to get you through the shutdown or to drink over the next several years. You should also try the latest vintage of 2015 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva.   The nose is a subtle right now and the flavors are a bit firm so while pleasurable , it will be even better this summer.  You may find these honest wines at MacArthur Beverages.  If you are short on funds then just grab the Clos de Pila.

2013 Domaine Boudau, Clot del Pila, Les Gargolines, Cotes du Roussillon – $13
Imported by Zwine Gallery Imports.  This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache.  Alcohol 14%.  Still focused upon opening but after one hour or so it opens up.  The flavors of cherry are supported by fine and firm structure with fresh acidity.  It tastes of vintage hard candy with ripe kirsch in the finish.  Really quite tasty and will drink well for a few years.  *** Now – 2023.

2015 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva – $15
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is 100% Cannonau fermented in stainless steel then aged for two years in large Slavonian oak casks.  Alcohol 14.5%. A subtle nose right now but fresh tasting fruit and minimal structure indicate it will soon be ready to drink.  There are bits of firm cherry, black fruit, and some sour fruit towards the finish.  It is even a touch mineral.  **(*) Now – 2022.

Four from Roussillion and Languedoc

Of the four wines featured in this post, I quite enjoyed the first three listed below.  My particular favorites are the 2015 Clos Marie, Cuvee L’Olivette, Languedoc and 2014 Jean-Louis Tribouley, Cuvee Mani, Cotes du Roussillon.  The Clos Marie is a fairly complex wine and the Tribuoley is surprising deep in flavor yet light and lithe at the same time.  The 2015 Domaine des Soulanes, Cuvee Jean Pull is flavorful and robust, for easy drinking.  You may pick them up at Weygandt Wines.

2015 Clos Marie, Cuvee L’Olivette, Languedoc – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault sourced from an average of 25 year old vines.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged in demi-muid and oak tanks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There are brighter scents with a hint of yeast.  In the mouth this is a medium bodied, rounded and ripe wine with some luxurious fat.  It takes on an earthy incense, plums, and rosemary then finally wraps up with fine texture.  *** Now – 2022.

2015 Domaine des Soulanes, Cuvee Jean Pull – $17
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 20% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre sourced from vines averaging 25 years of age.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged in used oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  A mouth filling wine with slightly textured black fruit and notes of Kirsch in the finish.  Perhaps a touch of brett matched by grapey tannins, and spices on the finish.  A lively, young and robust wine.  *** Now – 2023.

2014 Jean-Louis Tribouley, Cuvee Mani, Cotes du Roussillon – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of two-thirds Grenache and one-third Syrah that was raised in concrete tanks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  An elegant wine, fresh and almost lifted in nature.  There are lithe, dark blue fruit convey deep flavor complemented by an earthy hint.  Minerals in the finish.  Good flavor.  *** Now – 2021.

2014 Le Bout du Monde, Cuvee L’echappee belle – $20
A Jenny & Francois Selection imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Carignan which was fermented in fibreglass tanks then aged for 7  months in used barrels.  Alcohol 11%.  Light, bright, with pure acidity-driven fruit flavors.  A natural wine style which is not to my liking.  On the second day this smells exactly like buttered popcorn with flavors reminiscent of beer.  Not Rated.

Recent drinks or cheap stuff that tastes like Aubert and Sine Qua Non

We tried a number of value wines over the holiday break and I am happy to report there are certainly some fine values out there.  The 2016 Lafage, Novellum, Chardonnay is being compared to Aubert and the 2015 Lafage, Bastide Miraflors, Syrah & Vieilles Vignes de Grenache, Cotes du Roussillon to Sine Qua Non on a budget.  The former is ample in flavor and body, the later shows more focus.  At $15 each you cannot go wrong with either.  For a few bucks more I highly recommend you try the 2015 Antoine Touton & Fred Torres, Seleccion, Montsant.  Think mixed berries, fat, and juicy acidity!  The 2014 Mas Marer, Montsant is good too, just keep it in mind it is a structured wine from Monsant.  Finally, the 2016 Maitre-de-Chai, Carignan, Poor Ranch, Mendocino profess to fall in the middle camp of Californian wine making.  There are firm flavors of red fruit, bright acidity, and fine citric tannins.  There are hints of that Pilsner natural wine style which I find distracting but perhap you will not.

2016 Lafage, Novellum, Chardonnay – $15
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay.  Alcohol 13%.  A very light straw yellow color.  The nose is mineral with white, tropical flowers.  The tropical fruit continues in the mouth with floral notes and a nutty body that is supported by just enough acidity.  The wine takes on a mineral hint towards the end.  This wine has ample body with grip underneath and a baking spiced finish.  *** Now – 2019.

2015 Lafage, Bastide Miraflors, Syrah & Vieilles Vignes de Grenache, Cotes du Roussillon – $15
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars. This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache sourced from vines averaging 55 years of age which was raised in concrete tanks and demi-muids.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The flavors come across as ripe at first then they show more focus with cool red and black fruit.  This focus is good, carried by slightly juicy acidity into an almost chewy finish.  The wine becomes floral and citrus infused with air.  There is some textured structure to support drinking over a few years.  ***(*) Now – 2021.

2015 Antoine Touton & Fred Torres, Seleccion, Montsant – $19
Imported by Lawrence Boone Selections.  This wine is mostly Garnacha with some Carignan sourced from vines mostly on clay and calcareous soils.  It was raised in stainless steel.  Alcohol 14%.  Grapey on the nose.  A dense, almost glycerin start brings fresh floral berries, and pure fruit covered with fat.  There is a bit of texture as baking spiced flavors come out.  The red fruits morph to blackberries.  In the end the seductive mouthfeel and juicy, acidity supported brambleberries, are hard to resist.  ***(*) Now – 2021.

2014 Mas Marer, Montsant – $15
Imported by Weygant-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Merlot aged for 14 months in used French oak and concrete tanks.  Alcohol 14%.  A moderately structured wine of cherries and herbs with good acidity moving the wine along.  It has a bit of a stone/earth note to it.    It shows a touch of bottle age already but might develop further into the year.  **(*) Now – 2022.

2016 Maitre-de-Chai, Carignan, Poor Ranch, Mendocino – $27
This wine is is sourced from vines planted in the 1930s and 1940s on soils of mostly sand and granite.  Alcohol 13.2%.  Sampled over two nights the nose remains delicate with bright berry aromas.  In the mouth are tight, slightly focused red fruit and some very fine citric tannins.  The firmness of flavor matches the bright acidity making this wine more about texture than depth of flavor.  It is verging on a natural style.  ** Now – 2021.

A Daily Drinker for the Cellar from the Cotes du Roussillon

The 2013 Domaine Boudau, Clot de Pila, Les Cargolines, Cotes du Roussillon is a fine successor to the previous vintage.  These are affordable, honest wines that will make for excellent daily drinking in a few years.  It is true that you can drink the 2013 vintage right now but it could really stand some cellar time to reach its peak.  Give it a try!  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.


2013 Domaine Boudau, Clot de Pila, Les Cargolines, Cotes du Roussillon – $13
Imported by Zwine Gallery Imports.  This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache.  Alcohol 14%.  Tasted over two nights this wine develops aromas of strawberry candy and Kirsch.  There are similar flavors in the mouth that are bound with good, youthful structure that makes the wine a bit chewy.  There is an inky, slightly mineral finish with some persistent tannins on the gums.  This should peak in two years.  **(*) Now – 2020.

An ethereal wine from Loïc Roure’s Domaine du Possible

December 27, 2014 Leave a comment

If the wines of Bruno Duchêne (Bruno Duchene), Cyril Fhal (Domaine Clos du Rouge Gorge), and Jean-Louis Tribouley (Jean-Louis Tribouley) entice you then you must try the wines of Loïc Roure (Domaine du Possible).  Rather than re-hashing background information I suggest you read Domaine du Possible: Côtes du Roussillon from Loïc Roure.  The 2013 Domaine du Possible, Charivari, Cotes du Roussillon is one of those ethereal yet impossibly aromatic, flavorful, and mouth filling wines.  It has true barnyard aromas, which may not be for everyone, followed by a balance of delicately ripe fruit, minerals, acidity, and structure.  It is different than what I have drunk from the Côtes du Roussillon and is just generally unique.  This is “natural wine” done right.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2013 Domaine du Possible, Charivari, Côtes du Roussillon – $26
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Carignan sourced from vines 30-106 years old on soils of gneiss that underwent 100% Carbonic maceration.  Alcohol ?%.  Barnyard and natural wine aromas immediately wafted from the glass.   In the mouth was a hint of sparkle on the tongue tip for this lighter yet filling wine.  The flavors had less earth and barnyard than the nose.  The gentle, ripe flavors mixed with minerals and were generally clean before a  touch of barnyard returned in the finish.  There was a very long and ethereal aftertaste.  This wine remained balanced with delicately ripe fruit, minerals, and minimal structure suggesting a wine for now rather than aging.  **** Now-2016.


A pair of value wines from France and Moldova

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

It has been joked that I have tasted every wine under $25 at MacArthur Beverages.  While this may not be exactly true, it does highlight the price range I can afford to drink at on a daily basis.  If you scroll back through my tasting notes you might realize that I am able to drink both good and diverse wines.  At the value end the 2012 Domaine Boudau, Clot del Pila Les Cargolines, Cotes du Roussillon is a wine to drink starting this winter.  With chewy and sappy flavors of black fruit this would make a good start before a more serious wine.   I find it amazing that three years have past since I last tasted a wine from Calitate Matur in Moldova.  Back then the 2007 Chateau Vartely, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colectie Rezervata was more akin to an old-school Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the 2012 Chateau Purcari, Rare Neagră de Purcari, Calitate Matur is all new-school.  Chateau Purcari dates back to 1827 but the estate is nothing but modern.  This rather fruity wine offers lively flavors for drinking right now. It is a solid wine that should please the crowds.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Domaine Boudau, Clot del Pila Les Cargolines, Cotes du Roussillon – $13
Imported by ZWine Gallery Imports. This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache. Alcohol 14%.  This wine firms up to reveal good balance with just a bit of air.  There was blacker fruit, good tart acidity, structure, and a slightly salivating finish.  The flavors were a little chewy and left a sappy persistence in the aftertaste.  This wine might soften up with six months in the cellar.  For now it leaves tannins on the gums.  **(*) Now-2018.


2012 Chateau Purcari, Rare Neagră de Purcari, Calitate Matur $16
Imported by Sarego Imports. This wine is 100% Rare Neagră that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 12 months in French oak barriques. Alcohol 13%.  There was ripe, freshly sweet fruit with plenty of lively texture on the tongue that was perhaps from some carbon dioxide.  This tangy wine had mouth filling flavors, left a good impression, and is a generally solid wine.  ** Now-2016.


Three From Domaine Laguerre in Roussillon

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Eric Laguerre took over the family estate Domaine Laguerre in 1999.  He farms 40 hectares of vines on the foothills between the Pyrenees and the Corbieres.  The vines are located on soils of sandy granite at 500 meters.  Natural composts are used in the vineyards instead of chemicals.  Vineyard tasks such as ploughing and pruning are carried out according to the lunar cycle.  The fruit is hand harvested.

The 2011 Laguerre, le passage is a decent wine for drinking right now.  Far more interesting and at the same price, the 2011 Laguerre, Eos really expresses the sandy granite soils.  With its attractive floral fruit you may drink this wine now or over the short-term.  The 2009 Laguerre, Le Ciste is in an awkward, youthful stage.  The fruit is attractive right now but the wine really needs time to resolve and integrate its tannins.  My recommendation is to pick up the Eos and Le Ciste.  These wines were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.


2011 Domaine Laguerre, le passage, Cotes du Roussillon – $14
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 80% Carignan, 10% Grenache, and 10% Syrah which was fermented in then aged in barrels for eight months.  Alcohol 13%.  The grapier nose mixed with some spices.  The flavors were grapier in the mouth with black and purple fruit, watering acidity, and a hint of sweet spice.  This was a touch lighter than the Eos and is best for current drinking.  ** Now-2014.


2011 Domaine Laguerre, Eos, Cotes du Roussillon – $14
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah which was fermented in tank then aged for 18 months in barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  The unusual nose made way to similar flavors in the mouth.  There was a little fat to the rather floral flavors with fine gravelly stones and a structural firmness in the finish.  The aftertaste brought a little citrus and wood.  With extended air the ripe stone note continued along with pleasantly present acidity.  This wine grew on me.  **(*) 2014-2019.


2009 Domaine Laguerre, Le Ciste, Cotes du Roussillon – $16
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan which is fermented in concrete tank then aged 12-15 months in casks and barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was very tight with a little heat.  The flavors became tighter with air leaving cool, dense, black fruit which was a touch spicy.  The drying tannins matched the baking spices and dry flavors.  There really was good fruit, with a touch of glycerine, which could almost envelope the structure but the tannic structure oscillated in nature, separating from the flavors  at times.  Leave it in the cellar.  **(*) 2016-2021.


Five Young Wines from Cotes du Rhone, Roussillon, and Herault

I found myself in Friendship Heights last month and being in need of some drinking wine I stopped by Paul’s.  I walked out with five different bottles, the first four of which I recommend.  These wines are on the young side so they should show best next year.  The 2010 Domaine Les Genstas, Signargues had a beautiful nose but needs the palate to relax from some bottle age.  Domaine Tramontane is the project of Philippe Gard and Andy Cook.  These names might sound familiar because Philippe Gard owns Coume del Mas.  You may read some of my thoughts on the 2003 and 2004 vintages in my post Coume del Mas, Collioure.  I thought their 2011 Domaine Tramontane, Cotes du Roussillon has promising future at an attractive price. The 2009 Domaine Gardies, Les Millères was young and serious, also the driest of the lot. The 2010 Pic & Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone was a young, pure, and clean Cotes du Rhone.  These wines were purchased at Paul’s Wine and Spirits.


2010 Les Vignerons D’Estezargues, Domaine Les Genestas, Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues – $17
A Jenny & Francois Selections imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignan sourced from 20-80 year old vines.  The fruit was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 10 months in enamel lined tanks.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose developed nicely with fresh berries, baking spice…really quite nice.  In the mouth were fresh fruit flavors tart with minerals before a firm/serious middle.  The acidity was seamlessly integrated before coming to a graphite finish.  The wine seems to firm up with air.  There was a little citrus not in the finish and aftertaste.  This remained a beautiful wine that needs a little time in the bottle.  **(*) 2014-2019.


2011 Domaine Tramontane, Cotes du Roussillon – $15
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% old-vine Grenache.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose begun a little reduced then revealed subtle aromas of pungent black fruit.  In the mouth there was controlled, dense, young black fruit then pungent red and black fruit with some ripeness.  Young fruit now but a fine future ahead.   It had a cool nature, a little ripeness, and expansion in the mouth.  **(*) 2014-2020.


2009 Domaine Gardies, Les Millères, Cotes du Roussillon Villages – $19
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 20% Carignan, and 5% Mourvedre.  It was aged for 12 months in 50% cuve béton and 50% demi-muids. Alcohol 13.5%.  The light nose bore blue fruit and a little wood note.  In the mouth this was a good, young wine that was serious but tastes of some young vines.  The blue fruit was a little ripe, with some weight, then acidity and drier flavors in the back of the mouth.  There was some extract and noticeable acidity in the finish.  **(*) Now-2020.


2010 Pic & Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone – $16
Imported by Nice Legs.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose bore some young, assertive aromas.  There were young flavors in the mouth and firm tannins with black minerals.  The wine played it close in the middle but had a good aftertaste.  There were pure and clean flavors followed by very fine, ripe, black fruited texture in the aftertaste.  Good future.  *** 2014-2019.


2009 Le Chemin Des Reves, Saltimbanque, Carignan, VdP De L’Herault – $13
Imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is 100% old-vine Carignan.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was of raspberry and pungent red fruit aromas along with some black fruit.  There was a certain firmness to the black fruit then a powdery ripeness as the wine became all-around approachable.  There were smooth tannins integrated with the acidity, and a hint of earth.  There was some softness but not too much, for drinking now.  ** Now-2015.


Several Wines We Continue to Enjoy

This post features five wines which we have been drinking over the summer.  All of these are good wines, you could randomly pick anyone of these and be satisfied.  The 2012 Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Raisins comes across as more structured than the 2011 vintage which I so dearly loved.  I would try it again in the new year.  The 2011 Tami, Nero D’Avola is made by Arianna Occhipiniti and represents an affordable introduction to her wines.  While the 2011 Lafage,  Tessellae is not a block-buster wine for me, it is, nevertheless very good quality at a strong price.  It may be drunk now but I suspect it will be best next year.  The 2012 Herencia Altes, Garnatxa Negra is a juicy, easy to drink wine and it only costs $10.  You should stock up on this for beach trips or backyard parties.  Lastly, the 2009 Bodegas Luna Beberide, Finca La Cuasta, Mencia is a wine which I really liked.  It is young and should be cellared for six to twelve months but there is good character to the flavors.   These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Raisins, Cotes du Rhone – $24
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is mostly Grenache with some Cinsault sourced from the domaine’s youngest vines being 5-30 year old.  The soils are of clay limestone.  The grapes are partially destemmed and both fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for six months in cement tanks. Alcohol 14%.  The light nose was fresh with scented fruit.  The fruit in the mouth follows the nose but with drier flavors and pepper.  The dry structures come out along with firm, black fruit.  There was a fine texture in the finish and a little Pilsner hint in the aftertaste.  Try next year.  *** 2014-2019.


2011 Tami, Nero d’Avola, Sicily – $17
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a light to medium grapey, cranberry.  In the mouth there was a sort of black fruit with delicate and floral Sicilian flavors.  The linear fruit expands until the finish which reaches the back of the mouth.  The wine was weightless in a sense with well-integrated acidity.  ** Now-2015.


2011 Lafage,  Tessellae, Cotes du Roussillon – $15
Imported by Eric Solomon Selections.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was subtle.  In the mouth there were grapey, black flavors which left a powderly ripeness on the lips.  The wine was ripe with a firm and robust quality, good flavor, and a young nature.  There is a lot going on but it has not yet achieved great depth.  It was a good wine, probably not long-lived.  *** 2014-2017.


2012 Herencia Altes, Garnatxa Negra, Terra Alta- $10
Imported by Eric Solomon Selections.  This wine is 100% Garnatxa.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was light with ripe, raspberry aromas.  In the mouth there were ripe and fresh young berries.  The freshness continued with integrated and juicy acidity, leaving flavors which coated the inside of the mouth with pleasing fresh and sweet, ripe tannins.  The acidity was a little noticeable as a little, berry, tooty fruity flavor came out in the finish.  Juicy Grenache.  *** Now-2014.


2009 Bodegas Luna Beberide, Finca La Cuasta, Mencia, Bierzo- $19
Imported by Grapes of Spain.  This wine is 100% Mencia sourced from 60 year old vines.  It was aged for 12 months in French barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was subtle with low-lying aromas of dark red fruit, plummy then fresher.  In the mouth there was red and black fruit with plenty of integrated acidity which touches the tip and sides of the tongue.  The structure is around the fruit with a woodsy note.  **(*) 2014-2019.


Wine from The End of the World

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment
Vineyard, Image from Le Bout du Monde

Vineyard, Image from Le Bout du Monde

I have rather enjoyed my Christmas Vacation.  Taking time off from work and writing for the blog gives me more time to read about wine.  And to open up bottles purchased during my New York City trip!  One such bottle is the feature of today’s post.  Domaine Le Bout du Monde originated when Loic Roure showed Edouard Laffitte a sixty year old wine cooperative which he had purchased in Lansac, Cotes du Roussillon.  The timing was fortuitous.  Edouard had been working at Les Vignerons D’Estezargues, near Avignon, and was interested in working with vineyards.  A small group rehabilitated the winery then set about securing vineayrds.  Today they produce wine from six hectares of old vines split over five vineyards.  The vineyards are only plowed and do not receive any chemical treatments.  Six cuvees are produced each reflecting the different terroirs.  Each cuvee is vinified differently but all are naturally made, a practice employed at D’Estezargues.  I rather like the earthy and foxy(good not bad) aromas and flavors of this wine.  I could, perhaps, image that some people may not like this wine but if you enjoy the sort of wines which I recommend then you should definitely grab a few bottles.  It is the sort of wine I really preferred to drink than take notes on.  This wine is available at Chambers Street Wines.


2011 Domaine Le Bout du Monde, Hop’la, Cotes du Roussillon –
Imported by Selection Massale.  This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Carignan, and 20% Grenache sourced from vines located on Gneiss.  The fruit was destemmed, underwent full carbonic maceration then was aged in old wooden barrels.  Alcohol 12-14%.  The light+ nose was full of earthy, foxy black fruit.  In the mouth there was acidity driven black and red fruit wihch had some weight.  This initial fruit showed some ripeness.  Then the flavors became drying with a good firm and black fruited aftertaste where the earthy aspect returns as well.  This wine has good personality and should drink well over the short-term.  *** Now-2018.