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Posts Tagged ‘Gigondas’

A saline 1990 Longue-Toque, Gigondas

I cut my teeth on Gigondas when it first came to bottles of mature Rhone wine.  Though I have since been seduced by the complexities of Chateauneuf du Pape, I still get excited by old bottles of Gigondas.  At the time of the 1990 vintage, Domaine de Longue-Toque was run by Serge Chapalain the son of Roger Chapalain, who was once the Mayor of Gigondas. Roger Chapalain founded the estate in 1962 building a reputation for supple wines rather than rustic. Throughout the 1980s Serge Chapalain tried to bring back more weight into the wine than the vintages he produced under his father, making them more in line with the firmness of the region.  He blended mostly Grenache with some Syrah, Cinsault, and a bit of Mourvedre and Clairette.  Time in cask was limited to a year on average.  These efforts paid off for Robert Parker found the 1989 and 1990 vintages the best of the 1980s.

I, of course, did not read about this wine ahead of time so I had my doubts.  Since I have recently drunk both robust and bland Gigondas from the 1998 vintage, I was suspicious about even older bottles.  I popped and poured the 1990 Domaine de Longue-Toque, Gigondas to find it in fine shape.  There is a particularly attractive saline component, garrigue, and good fruit.  Some of that trademark suppleness might remain as a round feeling.  I would say the wine is just beginning to decline.  The estate was sold off in 1995 after which three cuvees were produced.  If you see a bottle of 1989 or 1990 you might as well try them as they reflect the best efforts of Serge Chapalain.

1990 Domaine de Longue-Toque, Gigondas
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a light to medium cherry garnet.  There is a distinctly saline flavor to the rounded start.  Initial flavors of cedar box and garrigue are followed by building weight coupled with an inky note and an ethereal aftertaste.  This wine is in fine shape with ripe fruit throughout that with air oscillates with dry, firm, red fruit.  It is starting to show its age but the slightly tart red fruit and fresh plums bring back confident.  *** Now.

New releases from Domaine des Pasquiers of the Rhone

Phil has imported the wines of Domaine des Pasquiers for three years now.  The trio of 2015 Rhone wines in this post represents the latest offering.  2015 is quite a vintage and all of these wines show significant flavor and stuffing.  Of the trio, my favorite is the 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu.  It is deep, flavorful, and has grip that I like.  As with any proper Cotes du Rhone it will drink well over the next several years.  The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet is definitely young and in need of age.  I could see it outstep the Plan de Dieu once it is mature but for a bit of raisin flavor.  Maybe everything will come together in a couple years, in that case this could be a bit of a sleeper.  The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas follows is the house style of modern Gigondas.  While I prefer more funk this is certainly impressive with fat notes and a very long aftertaste to boot. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This is a very dark, grapey red color.  The familiar, deep flavor leans more towards red fruit than black and is supported by strong, very fine tannic structure and watering acidity.  With air herbs and a bit of inkinesss come out.  It is certainly very flavorful with a touch of compelling grip, lots of flavor, and a dense almost chocolate finish.  *** Now – 2022.

2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This wine plays it close with black fruited, powdery ripe flavor.  There is extract and just the right amount of acidity.  The very fine drying structure and wood notes indicate it needs a year or two for integration.  The one distraction are fleeting flavors of raisins.  **(*) 2018-2024.

2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This blue fruited wine is strong in flavor and strong in structure.  It is a dense, sexy with a modern personality of fat, minerals, and structure.  The aftertaste is persistent.  *** Now – 2027.

The 1999 Bouissiere, Gigondas is drinking spot on

October 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Nine years ago I found that the 1999 Domaine La Bouissiere, Gigondas had a “chunky, rusticity that matches the fall weather.”  I enjoyed it, bought more, and recently tried another bottle.  It is now robust and rugged with ample fruit so it has held up all of these years.  It will never approach the complexity of a Chateauneuf du Pape but it certainly has plenty of attractive personality.  And yes, it is a great selection for the fall.

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1999 Domaine La Bouissiere, Gigondas
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 14%.  This wine boasts the good robustness and rugged weight of a traditional wine from Gigondas.  There are dense, strong fruit flavors, nutmeg spices, and some roast earth too.  Its an attractive wine with fine perfumed wood.  If I criticise then the weight of the wine could use a touch more acidity.  *** Now though will last but not improve.

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The Fresh Wines of Domaine des Pasquiers

July 26, 2016 1 comment

It was last summer that Phil first imported two wines from Domes de Pasquiers.  This summer we are treated to a pair from the 2014 vintage.  The 2014 Domaine de Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhones is a wine for now.  It is fresh and grapey both on the nose and in the mouth.  While it needs a few hours of air to show best, you should make sure to finish the bottle in one sitting.  It is good value at $12.   The 2014 Domaine de Pasquiers, Gigondas is in a similar vein but with more focused blue and black fruit than grapey character.  It is a clean, non-funky type of Gigondas that will drink best over the next several years.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Domaine de Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhones – $12
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%.  The scented nose is grapey and with air develops aromas of campfire smoke.  In the mouth this grapey wine has watering acidity that makes you salivate by the finish.  There is a nice fresh flavor with some spices.  It responds well to air drinking best after two to three hours.  This is a wine for drinking young and in one go.  ** Now – 2019.

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2014 Domaine de Pasquiers, Gigondas – $20
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 14%.  This is a grapey Gigondas which steps up the level of seriousness by showing a bit of black minerals and more focus.  The primary impression are the flavors of fresh blue and black fruit.  I would let this age another year to open up and gain complexity.  **(*) 2017 – 2022.

A pair of young Rhones

I have just a quick post for today.  The 2013 Lavau, Gigondas is a clean, contemporary Gigondas which you can drink right now.  It still sports some robustness to carry you through these chilly Spring days.  I think there is a touch more potential with the 2014 Domaine de Berane, Les Blaques, Cotes de Ventoux.  With air it shows an appealing mixture of intensity, weight, and creaminess.  If you can only afford one bottle then grab this one.  It will show best in a year or two so if you try it now then give it several hours of air.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Lavau, Gigondas – $20
Imported by Monsieur Touton.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This is a creamy with fruit that tastes of young vines.  The tart flavors mix with baking spices and plenty of ripe tannins which provide for a somewhat robust finish.  Quite appealing in an easy drinking way.  **(*) Now – 2021.

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2014 Domaine de Berane, Les Blaques, Cotes de Ventoux – $15
Imported by Wine Traditions.  This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache which is fermented and aged in cement tanks.  There is intensity to the grapey, black fruit which is supported by mid palate weight.  With it there is a Big Red and citrus pith note in the middle.  With air it takes on a little cream and a touch more weight.  **(*) Now – 2022.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Four bottles with a wee bit of age

December 8, 2015 Leave a comment

With the end of the year approaching I thought it appropriate to start drinking some of the lesser bottles that I have as well as those of which I have several.  The 1991 A. Rafanelli Winery, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County came from the Earthquake Cellar.  Though in stellar condition it initially tasted of rather acidic, bright red fruit.  I thought it a goner so I switched to the double-decanted 2007 Chateau Pesquie, Quintessence, Ventoux.  This bottle of Pesquie delivered the goods both with aromas and in the saline accented flavors.  It is a large-framed, robust wine that does not fall victim to the high alcohol level.  Many hours later, the Rafanelli fleshed out with cherry flavors that balanced the acidity along with attractive wood notes from age.  It ultimately came across as reasonably youthful with only the menthol aspect confirming its age.

Also from the 1990s is the 1998 Viking Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon which we last tasted in 2008.  This soft, old wine still sported jammy berries with enough acidity to keep it together.  The two wines from the 1990s were enjoyable enough to finish and while worthy of the experience, I would not bother seeking them out.  Finally, the 2004 Domaine des Espiers, Cuvee Tradition, Gigonda remains a solid enough, modern wine as it did when last tasted in 2011.  Perhaps not the most exciting quartet of wines but I do not mind.  I just received a slew of wines from 1947 through 1985 which I will be opening up this winter.  These bottles should be tons of fun!

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1991 A. Rafanelli Winery, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Alcohol 13.8%.  After a few hours of air the nose became attractive with sweet, old scents of leather and wood box.  Though acidic at first this wine fleshed out with cherry fruit, some weight, and watering acidity through the back of the toast.  It showed hints of ripe wood and a menthol finish.  ** Now.

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1998 Viking Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  Alcohol 12.8%.  This licorice flavored wine was rounded and a little soft with jammy berries in the finish.  The flavors mixed with old wood, old perfume, and a finish of minimal tannins and menthol freshness.  The acidity was bound in the softness, giving it just enough liveliness.  ** Now.

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2004 Domaine des Espiers, Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas
Imported by the Country Vintner.  Alcohol 14.5%.  Though this developed some nuanced flavors, it largely remained firm.  It was quite tannic at first then firm black and red fruit came out.  The watering acidity transitioned to a modern finish with a good dose of fine, drying tannins on the tongue.  Not too interesting of a wine.  ** Now – 2022.

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2007 Chateau Pesquie, Quintessence, Ventoux
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache.  Alcohol 15%.  Aromatic on the nose and rich in the mouth with saline infused black and red fruit.  Weighty but not overbearing, this wine is taking on bottle aged complexity but still has the vigor of youth. It has some attractive raciness right now but I think it will benefit from several more years of age.  ***(*) Now – 2025.

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