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An impressive 2015 Domaine du Seminaire, CdRV Valreas

I do not think I have ever tasted a Rhone wine solely from Valreas.  The 2015 Domaine du Seminaire, Cote du Rhone Villages Valreas is a new wine in our area so of course I grabbed a bottle.  This is a traditionally made wine, fermented in concrete with no use of oak.  It is strong and forward with a grapey, floral personality.  The liveliness is attractive, causing you to return for another taste.  I imagine it might open up over the next year but it is a fun drink right now.  Go get some!  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine du Seminaire, Cote du Rhone Villages Valreas – $18
Imported by Martine’s wines.  This wine is a blend of mostly Grenache with Syrah that was fermented concrete.  Alcohol 14%.    The higher-toned grapey, floral nose makes way to similarly grapey, black fruit in the mouth.  The wine has quite the strength, building intensity through the middle.  This is balanced by almost lively acidity and fine texture.  Flavors of baking spices and a tangy finish add to the complexity. This is an impressive, grapey wine.  *** Now – 2022.

You should buy the 2015 Domaine Palon, Vacqueyras this weekend

Domaine Palon is a small estate located in Gigondas.  From 17 acres in Gigondas and 12 acres in Vacqueyras the family has produced wine for four generations.  However, it was not until 2003 that the wine was first bottled under the family name.  The 2015 Domaine Palon, Vacqueyras is a strong value.  It is one of those wines enjoyable in its vigorous, powerful youth yet should develop and open up over the next few years.  With the cold weather in our forecast I would stock up on a few bottles this weekend.   This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine Palon, Vacqueyras – $20
Imported by Misa Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah.  Alcohol 14.5%. This is a black fruited, floral and mineral wine with a very focused core of ripe fruit.  It ripples with power and though it evolves with air to become a tasty wine of youthful vigor the balanced acidity and textured tannins will see it develop over the next couple of years.   ***(*) Now – 2027.

A Blind Tasting of 2000 and 1996 Bordeaux with bottles of Dunn and Chave too

A few weeks back I was lucky to be a guest when Sotiris hosted his tasting group. We tasted seven wines blind of which one was a ringer.  Now I could not peg that we were tasting 2000 and 1996 Bordeaux but the 2001 Dunn, Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley did stick out for it is certainly different.  Though the flavor is good, the structure is rather intense at this point so I suggest cellaring it for years to come.

The 2000 Chateau Lagrange, Saint-Julien is a particularly fine wine which you may drink now and over the coming years.  From the nose to the flavor and mouth feel I could not help but to enjoy it. I thought the 1996 Chateau Calon Segur, Saint-Estephe showed well too.  The nose demonstrates how it is entering a mature phase but the power and acidity will see this through for some time.  As for the other bottles, the 2000 Chateau Quinault, L’Enclos, St-Emilion is a wine to drink now whereas the 1996 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien needs time to come into its own. Our bottle of 1996 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Graves was sadly musty but the  2000 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage was spot on.  This group loves Rhone wines so what a treat to finish up with Chave.  This is a fine, impeccably balanced wine that is still very young in flavor but the saline and fat notes hint at future complexity.

1) 2000 Chateau Quinault, L’Enclos, St-Emilion
Imported by Wine Markets Intl.  Alcohol 13%.  A garnet hint in the glass.  There are hints of maturity on the nose, ripe fruit, minerals, and Kirsch.  The mature ripe start soon brings minerals but is not as expansive as I expected.  There is a prominent vein of acidity, some herbaceous flavors, floral middle then less apparent acidity and spices in the finish. ***(*) Now – 2022.

2) 2000 Chateau Magdelaine, St-Emilion
Imported by Maison Marques et Domaines. Alcohol 13%.  The nose is more subtle.  This is a redder wine with fuzzy cranberry and red berry flavors.  It has a core of sweet fruit in the middle then takes on more body, grip, and an herbaceous bit. *** Now – 2022.

3) 2000 Chateau Lagrange, Saint-Julien
Imported by Bordeaux Wine Locators. Alcohol 13%.  This is a dark violet garnet color with an elegant nose.  There is power in the mouth which builds until the very finely textured flavors fill the mouth.  It also coats the mouth with structure.  Despite the strength this is an elegant wine with red fruit, minerals, and quite the aftertaste. **** Now – 2027.

4) 2001 Dunn, Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
Alcohol 13%.  There is a eucalyptus start followed by a red fruit burst with acidity.  The flavor is interesting and different than the others.  This is a powerful wine with very, finely coating flavor.  With air flavors of blue fruit develop, warmth, and fresh grip.  The very fine structure is intense and there is a bit of a rough patch with heat right before the finish. ***(*) 2020 – 2030.

5) 1996 Chateau Calon Segur, Saint-Estephe
Imported by Ginday Imports. Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose is fine and mature with a eucalyptus component.  The wine is bright with focused flavors of red fruit that takes on a citric hint in the middle.  With good power, the vein of acidity will see this wine develop for some time.  A lovely wine. **** Now – 2027.

6) 1996 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien
Imported by Calvert-Woodley. Alcohol 13%.  There is a tough of cream to the nose.  The tangy and ripe, powdery blue fruit builds grip as it leaves flavor on the gums.  Powerful structure.  With air the wine develops attractiveness as the components balance out. ***(*) 2020 – 2030.

7) 1996 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Graves
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 13%.  The musty nose makes with to a mature, mouth filling wine.  The flavor is lighter, the structure is there, as is mineral and cedar box but no denying this is flawed.  Too bad.  Not Rated.

2000 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage
Imported by Langdon Shiverick.  This is a tense wine with a saline note that adds complexity to the red fruit.  The structure is perfectly integrated, the balanced impeccable.  With air a very fine perfumed finish makes way to an aftertaste of gently coating fat. **** 2022-2032.

1997 and 1999 Bois de Boursan CdP

I meant to purchase two bottles of 1999 Domaine Bois de Boursan, Chateauneuf du Pape.  Somehow I did not pay attention and the second bottle ended up being the 1997 Domaine Bois de Boursan, Chateauneuf du Pape.  I cannot actually recall drinking a Chateauneuf du Pape from the 1997 vintage so at least my bottle provided a new experience!  There is a bit of a sweet, Kirsch component with just a subtle amount of extra complexity.  The acidity is a bit too obvious at times otherwise this is a respectfully solid wine for drinking now.  The 1999 vintage steps things up.  It is quite fruity with a notch more complexity and much better acidity.  I see no reason to hold on to it any longer so start pulling the corks!

1997 Domaine Bois de Boursan, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by J et R Selections.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There is a rounded start of Kirsch with supporting acidity that noticeably pokes through at times.  The sweet flavors mix with subtle wood box and spices.  It firms up towards the finish leaving a textured, ripe aftertaste.  ** Now.

1999 Domaine Bois de Boursan, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by J et R Selections.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The wine is lively with a mixture of cranberry and ripe red berries.  The fruity flavors move on towards the purple and black spectrum, taking on great spices with hints of wood box.  The fresh acidity keep the wine taut.  *** Now – 2023.

A modern Saint-Chinian that is full of flavor

There is no denying that the 2015 Cave Roquebrun, La Grange Des Combes, Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun provides ample volumes of flavorful black fruit and minerals.  Though there is some bitterness it is generally a ripe, powdery, dense wine.  It is a not my style of wine but I imagine it is a crowd-pleaser.   Priced at $13 per bottle you can supply that crowd.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Cave Roquebrun, La Grange Des Combes, Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun – $13
Imported by Monsieur Touton.  This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre raised in stainless steel.  There are ample flavors of ripe, powdery, black fruit and minerals with an almost bitter, black fruited start.  The wine is grapey in a way with some black pepper and ripe texture from the long-grained tannins.  With air plenty of good, ripe and grapey black fruit flavor remains.  In the end this is a dense, modern style of wine.  ** Now – 2020.

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The generous 2015 Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone at $11

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

I am in need of inexpensive, tasty wine.  With kitchen work in plan for this Spring I need every cent for cabinets, stone, and labor.  Priced at $11 the 2015 Domaine Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone is more generous than the other pair of 2015 Cotes du Rhone for daily drinking.  You get mouth filling, grapey flavors yet there is a serious quality lurking in there.  With lower acidity this is a smooth wine for drinking this year.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Domaine Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone – $11
Imported by Monsieur Touton Selection.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault.   Alcohol 14%.  There are serious flavor undertones to this generally youthful and grapey flavor wine.  It is mouth filling with smoothed edges and just enough acidity to match the density.  The flavors turn riper and bluer towards the finish.  ** Now.

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Saint-Joseph for the cellar

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

There is no doubt that the 2014 Domaine Vincent Paris, les Cotes, Saint-Joseph  is young and in need of age. If you must try a bottle this winter then drink off a small glass, recork the bottle, then try it the next day.  Now the granite soil will come through, supporting the fruit.  More importantly, the acidity and texture, which are superb at this stage, will pull you back for another glass or two.  I recommend you stash away a few bottles.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Domaine Vincent Paris, les Cotes, Saint-Joseph – $25
Imported by Potomac Selections.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vineyards on granite soils north of Cornas.  The vines are 10 to 20 years old with fruit fermented in both barrel and tank then aged for 12 months in oak.  Alcohol 12.5%.  One the second day there is an almost electric start of beautiful, textured citrus pith below citrus flavors mix into black fruit.  There is an underlying chalky element.  At this young stage, the wine keeps circling you back to the awesome texture.  ***(*) 2019 – 2027.

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