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The Eric Solomon Selections Portfolio Tasting – Part 2

March 8, 2013 2 comments

Many of the wines I came across at the Eric Solomon Portfolio Tasting have appeared on this blog in an earlier vintage. I do try to contact wineries and winemakers so I was thrilled to know that two were present at this event. In this case the influential Philippe Cambie and Frederic Chaudiere of Chateau Pesquie. The Philippe Cambie table had a slew of enjoyable wines which were new to me. I continue to enjoy the wines of Chateau Pesquie including my first experience with the 2011 Artemia. The 2011 Roger Sabon, Les Olivets is another example of why I like Chateauneuf du Pape.

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About halfway through the tasting the crowds and noise level noticeably increased. I made may way to the smaller front room to taste the wines of Robert Sabon along with some Spanish wines. There was a good vibe in the air which was evident at these two tables.

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Afterwards I returned to the larger back room to taste the wines of Philippe Cambie, Chateau Pesquie, and Chateau Puech-Haut. Below you will find my remaining tasting notes.

Table 34 – Roger Sabon

Didier Negron

Didier Negron

I manged to stand to the side and taste through most of the Sabon wines. I must admit, as good as the Prestige and Le Secrete des Sabon were, I was very attracted to the Les Olivets. It was an old-school, honest glass of Chateauneuf du Pape which I really wanted to drink.

2012 Renaissance Blanc, Chateauneuf du Pape – $52
This wine is a blend of 40% Roussanne, 20% Clairette, 20% Bourboulenc, and 20% Grenache Blanc aged in tronconical vats. There was a light, tight nose of yeasty white fruit. In the mouth the flavors were tangy on the sides of the tongue then the fruit came out with mixed flavors, some weight, and a lees character in the finish.

2011 Rhone by Roger Sabon, Cotes du Rhone – $16
This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault which was aged in tank. There was a lifted nose of red fruit. In the mouth the fresh red fruit was round with tang, acidity, tannins, and structure.

2011 Les Olivets, Chateauneuf du Pape – $48
This wine is a blend 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and 15% Cinsault which was aged 18 months in foudre and tank. The light, unique nose was foxy, earthy, and stepped out of the glass. The mouth followed the nose with rustic fruit which was light before making way to black and blue fruit. Old-school and neat. Quite approachable.

2011 Prestige, Chateauneuf du Pape – $80
This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Counoise and Vaccarese, and 5% Mourvedre which was aged 18 moths in demi-muids and tronconical oak. There was a very tight, controlled nose with the Grenache and Mourvedre coming through. In the mouth there were focused, ripe red and blue fruit with an old-school note. Needs some age.

2011 Le Secret des Sabon, Chateuneuf du Pape – $230
This wine is mostly Grenache aged in 600L dmei-muids. The light but familial nose was good all around. There were denser flavors in the mouth, a lot going on, with drier fruit filling the mouth. Spicy tannins were evidence as the structure came out. For the cellar.

Table 35 – Eric Solomon Selections Spanish Wines

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Wow, expensive modern Spanish wines. This table had a crowd so it was a bit difficult to jockey for a pour and the spit bucket, my notes were thinner as a result. Still the Bodegas Aalto wines made for a seductive pair. The Benjamin Romeo, Contador was stunner and absolutely refused to die off.

2011 Benjamin Romeo, Que Bonito Cacareaba Blanco – $80
This wine is a blend of 73% Garnacha Blaca, 15% Malvasia, and 12% Viura aged eight months in 100% new French oak. There were interesting flavors in the mouth which were low-lying, expansive then fresher with ripe, citrus tannins.

2010 Benjamin Romeo, La Cueva del Contador, Rioja Alavesa – $100
This wine is 100% Tempranillo which was aged 18 months in 100% new French oak. There was a good nose of lovely, floral red fruit. In the mouth the flavors were concentrated but had a lightness to them. Definitely young with nice acidity and firm tannins which were fine, grapey, and drying.

2010 Benjamin Romeo, La Vina de Andres, Rioja Alavesa – $160
This wine is 100% Tempranillo which was aged 18 months in 100% new French oak. There was a caramel popcorn nose which mixed with red fruit aromas. In the mouth it was a touch slaty with red fruit, fine-grained, spicy tannins, and an inky aspect in the finish. This young wine is nice and will certainly age.

2010 Benjamin Romeo, Contador, Rioja Alavesa – $375
This wine is a blend of 86% Tempranillo and 14% Garnacha which was aged 18 months in 100% new French oak. The nose was a touch pungent and quite assured. In the mouth there was a salty, good start with power to the flavors but a light nature. The spicy tannins came out before the black and red fruit in the finish. The flavors clung to the sides of the mouth providing a long aftertaste. Needs some age and will be long-lived.

2010 Bodega Aalto, Ribero del Duero – $56
This wine is 100% Tinto Fino which was aged 23 months in used French and American oak barrels. A beautiful wine with concentrated flavors, pencil lead, and powdery red fruit and citrus.

2010 Bodegas Aalto, PS, Ribera del Duero –
Produced only in the finest vintages, this wine is 100% Tinto Fino aged 30 months in 100% new French oak. This dense wine was serious, seductive, and clearly well-done.

Table #22 – Chateau Puech-Haut

Jean Claude Gelats

Jean Claude Gelats

It has been some years since I last drank a bottle of Chateau Puech Haut. The rose are an interesting pair with Jean describing the Prestige as a barbecue wine and the Tete de Belier as gastronomique. The first four red wines I tasted all showed beautiful fruit and individual personalities. The Prestige rouge is a joint project with Philippe Cambie and Eric Solomon. It is well done, packing in a lot of flavor for the price.

2012 Prestige Rose, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $22
This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Cinsault which was aged in stainless steel. This showed good textured fruit on the nose. The mouth follows the nose with lots of flavors, a long finish, and ripeness in the aftertaste. A nice wine.

2012 Tete de Belier Rose, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $40
This wine is a blend of Mourvedre and Grenache which was aged in stainless steel. This was very aromatic with pastilles and grapefruit aromas making for a beautiful nose. The mouth follows the nose with tighter flavors, up front acidity, acidity in the finish, and some tannins.

2011 Recantou, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $80
This wine is a blend of Syrah and Grenache with 70% aged 16 months in new oak and 30% aged 12 months in used oak. There was a tight nose of nice fruit. This was great in the mouth with subtle weight, black perfumed fruit, and expansive flavors. There was very good flavor to the fruit which works well with the structure.

2011 Quercus, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $80
This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah aged 16 months in tank. The tight nose had a hint of ripe, fine berries. In the mouth the flavors were more lifted with mixed juicy fruits in more obvious structure. There were finely ripe, drying and powerful tannins. There was a black, minerally finish along with cinnamon spices, and a spicy note. Young.

2011 Bosque Negre, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $80
This wine is a blend of Mourvedre and Grenache with the Mourvedre aged 16 months in new French oak and the Grenache in tank. There was a good smelling nose. The mouth follows the nose with a sense of lightness despite the good, powerful fruit and powerful structure. There were black and blue fruits in the finish.

2011 Reboussier, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $80
This wine is a blend of 80% Carignan and 20% Grenache aged 14 months in new oak barrels. With a familial nose the mouth showed a density to the flavors. There was focused ripeness to the fruit with good structure and nice tannins. This will age well but is already long on flavor.

2011 Prestige Rouge, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Drezery – $22
This wine is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah which was aged in concrete. There was brighter blue fruit which packs lots of flavor. There were very, very fine tannins which were well-integrated into the wine. The flavors turned black towards the finish. The aftertaste was sinewy with a spicy note.

Table #13 – Chateau Pesquie

Frederic Chaudiere

Frederic Chaudiere

The fruit for the La Paradou wines are sourced from the Northern Languedoc. While I preferred the Blanc over the Rouge, I liked all when it came to the Terrasses and Quintessence. The Terrasses as whole represent good wine for the price which may be drunk for several years. The 2011 Quintessence Rouge is a lovely follow on to the 2010. Of the Artemia I must agree with Frederic in that the 2011 is great fun to drink.

2012 La Paradou Blanc, Vin de France – $11
This wine is 100% Viognier sourced from chalky limestone soils which was fermented and aged for five months in tank. There was a light, good nose of floral honeysuckle and berries. The flavors followed the nose but were dry at first before taking on a gentle, floral ripeness. There was an expansive midpalate followed by a hint of spices in the aftertaste. Good value.

2012 Terrasses Blanc, Cotes du Ventoux – $15
This wine is a blend of 70% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, and 15% Clairette aged in stainless steel and some concrete. The nose has aromas of lifted berries, pastilles, then tropical flowers. The flavors were riper with a softer entry then clean, lower-lying flavors.

2012 Quintessence Blanc, Cotes du Ventoux – $25
This wine is a blend of 80% Roussanne, 10% Clairette, and 10% Viognier with the Clairette and Viognier aged in stainless steel and the Roussanne aged six months in barrel. The showed more focus and determination, with white nuts, and tighter flavors. Needs some age.

2012 Terrasses Rose, Cotes du Ventoux – $14
This wine is a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Syrah aged in stainless steel tank. There was a focused nose of floral fruit, red fruit, and flowers. There was a weighty, focused, lovely feel in the mouth with a yeasty touch as the end.

2011 La Paradou Rouge, Vin de France – $11
This wine is 100% Grenache. This had a pungent Grenache nose followed by simpler but decent fruit in the mouth. It was a little rough in the finish.

2012 Terrasses Rouge, Cotes du Ventoux – $16 (Tank Sample)
This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 20% Syrah aged six to eight months in 40% new oak. The flavors of red fruit were a touch foxy(good) and filled the mouth with licorice. It has an aspect of lightness combined with a gentle structure. There was a little yeasty expansion in the finish along with lighter, fresher fruit.

2011 Quintessence Rouge, Cotes du Ventoux – $25
This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache aged for 12 months in 50% new oak. The tight was bore fine fruit. The mouth was more expansive with red fruit, good flavor, then black and red fruit with a powerful structure. Then there was perfumed, old-school, red fruit, and a chewy finish. Nice.

2009 Cuvee Artemia, Cotes du Ventoux – $42
This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache aged 18 months in 50% new and 50% neutral oak. The nose stood out with its concentration and different aromas. In the mouth there was depth to the flavors, a traditional style, and perfume. The structure came out but so id really good flavors. Seems young.

2011 Cuvee Artemia, Cotes du Ventoux – $43
This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache aged 18 months in 50% new and 50% neutral oak. There was a light, pungent nose. In the mouth the fruit, acidity, and tannins were immediately evident as balanced. The tannins are finer but the fruit has density to match. There was a powerful finish with a yeast red aftertaste. A nice wine that is young but would be good fun to drink now.

Table #21 – Philippe Cambie

Philippe Cambie

Philippe Cambie

Philippe Cambie’s hand is evident not just in the Rhone and Eric Solomon’s portfolio but all over the world. He has loved wine since at least his rugby days when he enjoyed it after his matches. Mas des Volques is a project of Nicolas Souchon of Clos St Jean. Both the Alba Dolia and Volcae were interesting and well priced. The Alba Dolia represent the first vintage for the new Cevennes appellation. I should like to taste them again. The 2011 Domaine Roche, Cairanne showed good complexity for a young wine. Philippe intends the Calendel to be Burgundian in style and easy to drink, indeed it was.

2012 Mas des Volques, Alba Dolia White, Duche d’Uzes – Cevennes – $20
This wine is a blend of 65% Viognier and 35% Roussane aged in six months in used oak barrels from Burgundy. From a freshly opened bottle the nose preceeds the mouth with good yellow fruit and almonds. Nice. There was verve in the midpalate with mouth filling and tongue coating flavors. Spices and tang came out on the middle of the tongue.

2011 Mas des Volques, Volcae, Duche d’Uzes – $22
This wine is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 30% Carignan with the Grenache aged in tank and the Syrah and Carignan aged in barrel. The nose stepped out of the glass. There was round fruit in the mouth, garrigue, density, chewy tannins, and good flavor. This will age well. It left impressions of weight and interest.

2011 Domaine Roche, Cotes du Rhone – $16
This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 15% Carignan sourced from young vines (40 years) aged for six months in 60% stainless and 40% concrete tanks. The nose showed focus with traditional red fruit. In the mouth the powdery red fruit felt good. The acidity is there despite first being aware of the mouthfeel. This had some powdery lift and structure in the finish.

2011 Domaine Roche, Cairanne – $19
This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah from old vines (60 years) aged in 80% concrete tanks and 20% in barrique. There was a less pungent nose. The mouth had more complex flavors which stood on top of the tongue. This was young but serious with a touch of yeast. The dense flavors need time to unfurl.

2011 Calendal, Cotes du Rhone, Plan de Dieu – $30
This wine is a blend of 80% Mourvedre and 20% Grenache sourced from 30-50 year old vines is aged for 12 months in used barrels. There was focused ripe fruit, density, and already seductive in its youth. Lots of flavor, good to drink.

Table #21 – Domaine de la Colliere and Chateau Juvenal

Aline Santoro

Aline Santoro

Philippe Cambie is also the consulting oenologist for these two estates. The Domaine de la Colliere, La Fontaine was good fun and a wine to try again. Chateau Juvenal is a new organic estate with 2011 the first vintage. The La Terre du Petit Homme shows they are off to a good start.

2011 Domaine de la Colliere, Les Touilleres, Rasteau – $18
This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Carignan, and 5% Mourvedre aged in cuve Breton. There was a pungent, Grenache nose. There were similar powdery, coating flavors in the mouth, red fruit. Rasteau firmness with Cambie twist.

2011 Domaine de la Colliere, La Fontaine, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau – $29
This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre aged in concrete tank for two winters. There flavors had verve and were lively on the tongue with drying flavors. With a hint of the yeast this lightened up in the finish. There was a powerful end with salty and savory flavors.

2011 Chateau Juvenal, Les Ribes du Vallat, Ventoux – $14
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Carignan, and 25% Syrah sourced from 30-50 year old vines aged nine months on the lees in stainless steel tanks. The nose is more perfumed. In the mouth there was good red fruit, a powdery nature, similar profile, spicy finish, and lots of mouthfeel. There were firm tannins in the powerful aftertaste.

2011 Chateau Juvenal, La Terre du Petit Homme, Ventoux –
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah sourced from 50 year old vines with the Grenache aged on the lees in stainless steel tank and the Syrah aged in new French oak for 12 months. There was a pungent nose. In the mouth there was salty and savory black red fruit which became lifted. I loved the savory aspect of the wine. There were fine tannins to the structure which developed with air. There was black and red fruit in the finish along with salivating acidity.

Table #11 – Tikves Winery

The wines of Tikves have appeared in several of my posts ever since I first tasted them at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia this past summer. At this point the tasting was coming to an end with wines being boxed up and my palate clearly tired. I decided to quickly taste through the wines to bring awareness to those who have yet tried a wine from the Republic of Macedonia. Philippe Cambie is the consulting oenologist.

2011 Vranec Special Selection, Tikves – $10
This wine is 100% Vranec aged in tank. The fruit is pure with red tang and stands out on the nose. There is good grip in the mouth with tang to the red and black fruit which is noticeable on the tip of the tongue.

2010 Barovo, Tikves – $20
This wine is a blend of 85% Kratosija and 15% Vranec aged 6-8 months in oak barrels. There was light red fruit on the nose along with Kirsch coming through. In the mouth the flavors were pure, showed weight, tartness, and acidity. This was well done with a lighter finish and assured structure.

2011 Barovo, Tikves – $20
This wine is a blend of 85% Kratosija and 15% Vranec aged 6-8 months in oak barrels. This bore dark red flavors. Again the wine was assured with a little salty bit, tight flavors, and in need of some age.

2011 Bela Voda, Tikves – $20
This wine is a blend of 70% Plavec and 30% Vranec aged 6-8 months in oak barrels. This was more fruit driven than the 2011 with more lushness in the mouth. There were light, red fruit and pencil lead notes.

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