Posts Tagged ‘Lirac’

Two Recent Rhones: Clos du Mont Olivet and P. Usseglio

It feels like we have already drunk, both by ourselves and with friends, cases of 2016 Clos du Mont Olivet, Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes.  This particular wine is drinking at full maturity which is why I was very curious to try the 2016 Clos du Mont Olivet, Chateauneuf du Pape.  There is that same Mourvedre-based goodness but the Chateauneuf du Pape steps it up in terms of components for development.  It is appealing now, with Kirsch aromas and firm line of darker fruits with stones, but is best left for at least two to three years before trying again.  At only $35 this is a bargain for a wine that will develop over 10-15 years.  My recommendation is to drink the CdR while this CdP lays in your cellar or fridge.

Nearly as impressive is the 2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio, Lirac.  Lirac is a relatively young selection in the P. Usseglio lineup but one you should take note of.  It is approachable and giving at first pour, but with air it still reveals its Lirac firmness.  There is quite a lot going on in here already, but I would wait until the winter for the wine to relax.  Brought in by Phil at MacArthur Beverages, this is a fine value at $25.


2016 Clos du Mont Olivet, Chateauneuf du Pape – $35
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah and some Cinsault, aged in foudre and old oak. Alcohol 15%.  Kirsch and cherry candies remain on the nose.  In the mouth it has the earthy, Mourvedre flavor, adding depth to the dark red and black fruits.  By the middle a firm line of black fruit and stones come out, reflecting its youth as the structure develops.  It is a little astringent in the end with tannins sticking to the gums.  With air the ripe core of flavor comes into focus and it picks up a spicy note.  Drinkable now but it deserves a few more years in the cellar.  **** Now – 2034.


2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio, Lirac – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah, aged 12 months, half in concrete vats and half in demi-muids. Alcohol 15%.  Dark in the glass with ripe berry aromas, cocoa, and smoke.  The fruit weight is immediately noticeable followed by ripe, red berry flavors and garrigue which morph into a floral, spiced note in the middle.  With air the wine firms up with that firm, cool Lirac nature providing the spine.  It also becomes even more floral through the long finish.  ***(*) Now – 2027.


Impressive Lirac from Mordoree

The 2016 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Dame Rousses, Lirac is a good wine from Lirac, a bit strong with some of the appellation’s hardness. However, Jenn and I soon moved on to and stayed with the 2016 Domaine de la Mordoree, Reine des Bois, Lirac.  I do not think I have previously tasted a Lirac this good.  The amount of flavor, depth, and balance are more akin to Chateauneuf du Pape.  You certainly will not confuse it for CdP but this wine is contemporary Lirac at a new level of quality.  I bought my two bottles at MacArthur Beverages.

2016 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Dame Rousses, Lirac – $22
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils. This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. Alcohol 14.5%. The good, dense ripe fruit of blue and black fruit has an intense edge. There is strength in this wine through the baking spiced and structured finish. It is best drunk in one go. *** Now – 2024.

2016 Domaine de la Mordoree, Reine des Bois, Lirac – $40
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils. This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30 Grenache, and 30% Mourvedre.  This has slow building depth with a plummy middle and finish of dark, concentrated berries. It is not intense like La Dame Rousses, rather it offers ample, balanced floral and creamy flavors. The tannins are ripe and impeccably integrated providing unintrusive support.  An impressive wine from Lirac. ****(*) Now – 2029.

Even more recent drinks

January 11, 2018 Leave a comment

I cannot seem to shake a consistently busy work schedule which eliminates any free time I have.  Hence my sporadic posting.  Of the lot of wines featured in today’s post the 2007 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac is my favorite.  I was a bit underwhelmed until several hours in when it completely transformed for the better.  Of the wines which are currently available the 2012 J. M. Rimbert, Carignator is a good value.  It is Carignan so it is a bit firm in a way but the flavors have taken on good bottle age.  The 2016  Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Tenerife does not offer up the excitement I experienced with the 2015 vintage.  The profile is still there but this vintage is not as expressive.  I will try another bottle in case there is bottle shock.  Finally, I was underwhelmed by the 2016 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis.  A strange evergreen incense marked the wine for days.  Coupled with bitter black fruit it did not become enjoyable until several days in.  I will broach my second bottle several years down the road.

2006 Domaine du Clos des Fees, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Roussillon Villages
Imported by Simon n’ Cellars.  This is a gravelly wine with maturing blue fruit, watering acidity then flavors of garrigue and strawberry liquor candied near the finish.  it develops a spiced berry cote becoming drier towards the end where the strength of the wine shows.  It wraps up dry.  *** Now – 2023.

2007 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils. This wine is a blend of 34% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 33% Mourvedre. Alcohol 14.5%.  There is a maturing core of fruit but there is still plenty of spicy structure surrounding it.  The wine is thick with black fruit and a bit of bitterness towards the end.  After 2-3 hours in the decanter it rounds out and the components come into balance quite well.  There are racy blue flavors, watering acidity, wood box, baking spices, and a luxurious marshmallow body.  **** Now – 2028.

2012 J. M. Rimbert, Carignator – $15
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This is 100% Carignan largely sourced from 70+ year old vines.  It was aged for six months in old neutral barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  A medium opaque, bricking cherry color.  This is a dry, textured wine that is maturing in the bottle.  There are wood notes, a little balsam, and textured tannins left on the gums.  **(*) Now – 2023.

2015 Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, Etna Rosso – $17
Imported by deGrazia Imports. Alcohol 13.5%.  There are lifted aromas of tar.  In the mouth are somewhat black and red fruit, mineral on the sides of the tongue, and minimal fine tannins which give it some grip.  The wine tasted polished, focused, and modern.  With it it becomes more mineral, which is attractive, and takes on a touch of cocoa.  Solid but not moving.  **(*) 2018-2020.

2016  Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Tenerife – $22
A Jose Pastor Selections imported by Llaurador Wines.  This is a blend of high-altitude 70-120 year-old Listan Prieto with some Tintilla that was foot trodden, fermented in concrete and tubs with indigenous yeasts then aged 8 months in neutral oak barrels.  Alcohol 12%.  This is a high-toned, bright wine which mixes white pepper and potpourri incense right from the start.  The focused red fruit matched the polished wood note.  There is a very gentle ripeness. **(*) Now – 2021.

2016 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis – $32
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a mix of Syrah from near the Rhone and young Cornas.  It was aged for six months in cement and 6 months in foudres. This is a completely opaque, grapey purple color.  Followed over many nights the nose is incensed with primarily evergreen aromas and floral notes.  For the first few days there is a similarly incensed, evergreen flavor to this wine.  It is bitter with very fine structure through the firm, polished, bitter black finish.  The evergreen aspect eventually reduces with the wine showing focused, floral black fruit in the finish.  ** 2021-2026.

Recent Rhones from North and South

March 31, 2015 1 comment

Just a quick post for today but I promise a meatier post tomorrow based on some fun research.  Of the trio of wines in this post I suggest you try both the 2013 Lionel Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes and the 2012 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone.  The former has lovely Syrah flavors which complement notes of orange, black tea, and baking spices.  This should be great come the fall.  The Charvin is packed with potential with its firm fruit, minerals, and savory finish.  It is enjoyable now but really needs to be cellared for a few years.  It will be worth it.  The Faury and Charvin were purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the Notre dame at McGruders of DC.


2013 Lionel Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $22
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vines planted between 1995 and 2007 on granite soils. The wine is aged 7-8 months in 7-20 year old demi-muids.  Alcohol 13%.  There was an attractive sweet nose of ripe, floral orange fruit.  In the mouth there was enough acidity that the wine was lively on the tongue tip.  The red and orange fruit mixed with tea flavors, some baking spices, and a bit of texture.  It is in a youthful, rough and tumble state.  *** Now-2022.


2012 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone – $19
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan raised in concrete.  Alcohol 14%.  This sported pure, grapey flavors of black fruit, a minerally middle, and a savory finish.  This is clearly not a fruit forward wine and lovely for it.  There were drying tannins and a tight personality indicating this should develop over the next several years.  With air it showed some orange fruit and a touch of density.  *** 2017-2025+.


2013 Notre Dame De Cousignac, Lirac – $16
Imported by Opici Wines.  This wine is a blend of 77% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 8% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvedre source from vines averaging 35 years of age.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged in cement. Alcohol 14.5%.  There were dark flavors of blue and red fruit, some ripeness, and an immediate sense of structure.  The tannins are ripe and bring on cinnamon spices on the backs of the gums.  With air the wine develops a higher-tone with a licorice flavor and drying structure in the end.  Needs time.  ** 2017-2025.


Lirac From Mordorée and Alain Jaume

The pair of Lirac featured in this post represent good value for wines that will develop in the cellar.  The 2012 Domaine de la Mordorée, La Dame Rousse, Lirac is clearly a young wine in need of age.  Right now, the mineral flavors take on an extra dimension from the orange citrus and incensed wood notes.  This will become the more complex of the two wines.  The 2010 Alain Jaume et Fils, Roquedon, Lirac proved to be the more powerful of the two.  It is a fruitier wine that mixes attractive baking spices both on the nose and in the mouth.  I would cellar this until the fall then drink is a daily wine for years to come. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Domaine de la Mordorée, La Dame Rousse, Lirac – $18
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah sourced from 40 year old vines.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There were minerally black fruit flavors before a mixture of tart black and raspberry fruit.  As the wine became redder it took on a little orange citrus, dried herbs, and more levity.  The acidity was bound in.  With air, notes of incensed wood and vermouth developed inside a moderate structure of very fine, dry, and spicy tannins.  **(*) 2016-2024+.


2010 Alain Jaume et Fils, Roquedon, Lirac – $16
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Carignan.  It was aged for 15 month in oak casks.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose revealed aromas of mixed-fruit cobbler along with some attractive baking spices.  The flavors began with black fruit that was dense and powerful.  The wine was a little spicy and smoky before taking on ripe baking spices in the finish.  The structure was evident as dry, wood tannins.  **(*) 2014-2020.


Three Enjoyable French Red Wines

Just a quick post to remind everyone that I do drink current vintages.  The 2012 Chateau Pesquie, Terrasses, Ventoux is a great buy at $14.  I believe it could use a little time in the cellar for it was much more expressive on the second night.  From the aromas to the flavors and texture this beautiful wine might be even better next year.  The 2012 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup, Cuvee Sainte Agnes, Pic Saint Loup is a rather young and dry wine which reflects its chalky and limestone origins.  It reveals elegant flavors that are a bit different than normal.  The 2010 Alain Jaume & Fils, Roquedon, Lirac is a more flavorful wine which you should enjoy knocking back down for many years to come.  I should note it was not until the fourth bottle that I managed to take down a note.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Chateau Pesquie, Terrasses, Ventoux – $14
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah which was aged in concrete, stainless steel, and some oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The good nose had both lifted aromas and those of black fruit.  In the mouth were slowly building flavors that took on controlled ripeness and a hint of glycerine through the finish.  There was plenty of acidity from the start which was noticeable on the tongue tip.  There were ripe, very rounded and approachable tannins mixing with plenty of acidity.  It left a clean and fresh finish with blacker fruit flavors.  *** 2015-2020.


2012 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup, Cuvee Sainte Agnes, Pic Saint Loup – $23
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Carignan sourced from soils of chalky-clay, white clay, and hard limestone which was aged for 12-14 months in oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was delicately scented with spice potpourri.  The mouth followed the nose but was much drier and quite dry by the finish where there were drying tannins and a little puckering aspect.  The flavors were of lighter red fruit, somewhat grapey, before the spicy finish. The grapey and citric fruit had a citric tannin structure.  On the second night there were some white pepper notes as well as flavors of stones.  There was, perhaps, a Big Red note, some saltiness and dry black fruit.  Needs some age.  *** 2017-2025.


2010 Alain Jaume & Fils, Roquedon, Lirac – $16
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Carignan which was aged in oak.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a slightly meaty nose of red and black berries.  In the mouth were dense black fruit with red hints, well-integrated acidity, and controlled ripeness.  There was a certain roundness to the wine with a minerally black finish.  The ripe tannins existed in an appropriate structure which dried the insides of the lips.  This is tasty now but could use a little age.  *** 2017-2025.


Tasting Unlabeled and Bagged Wines With Lou

October 11, 2013 Leave a comment


I went over to Lou’s house earlier this week to taste some wine.  He had put together a small flight of wines to taste blind so I thought it would be amusing to bring over two bottles of white wine which were missing their labels.  I never wrote down what the first wine was so it shall remain an Unknown French White Wine of recent vintage.  It was actually quite nice on the nose, certainly Sauvignon Blanc with Lou guessing Sancerre.  Next up was the 2011 Domaine de la Pépière,  Clos des Briords which Lou immediately guess as Muscadet based on the bottle.  I had double-decanted this one hour prior.  This is made from the oldest vines of the estate, planted in 1930, and I think that it is best left in the cellar.  Lou then brought out the 2010 Domaine Rolet, Chardonnay, L’Etoile.  I loved the 2007 vintage which I tasted last summer and suspect the 2010 will also develop well with age.  The last wine I brought over was the 2006 Domaine du Coulet, Brise Cailloux.  I tasted the 2006 No Wine’s Land back in the summer of 2008 and the 2008 Brise Cailloux earlier this year (thanks again to Lou).  The 2006 had a gorgeous, engaging nose which is not quite/yet matched in the mouth.  There is plenty of life ahead so I would be curious to hold on to any bottles.

We then came to the blind wines.  Lou had double-decanted them so the probably had about one hour of air before we tasted them.  I started with the first two wines and was really happy.  Parlor games are fun so I guessed the first was either from Charvin or a Stolpman, Syrah.  Having recently drunk the 2010 Stolpman, Syrah Estate, there was something familiar in mind.  Lou commented there was no California Syrah in the lineup.  In all fairness, Lou had previously offered to open up the 2008 Domaine du Pegau, Reservee due to my current interest in Pegau.  I suspected he had not for this tasting.  The second wine was certainly funkier, showing more advanced aromas and flavors, and absolutely lovely.  Remembering the 2008 Clos des Papes Phil opened last year, I guessed it was a wine from 2008.  The third wine had a brick wall of tannins, I thought some cuvee which saw way too much new oak.

It turned out the first wine was the 2007 Stolpman Vineyards, Grenache Estate, the second was 2008 Domaine du Pegau, Reservee, and the third was 2007 Domaine Grand Veneur, Clos de Sixte.  The 2008 Pegau stole the show.  We typically split and gas up the leftovers to be tasted the next night.  I was so excited by the Pegau that Jenn and I finished it up that evening.  Lou purchased this bottle for $25 from Premier Cru, what a deal!  After that I really enjoyed the 2006 Coulet.  I think the 2007 Stolpman was more impressive the first night but the 2007 Grand Veneur certainly improved on the second night.


Unknown French White Wine
This had ripe, grassy aromas of white candy with fine texture.  It was strong in the nose with its floral, white candy aromas.  The mouth was less impressive but had a nice chalky, dry aspect.  ** Now-2014.


2011 Domaine de la Pépière,  Clos des Briords, Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  The color was a very light white straw.  The tight nose eventually revealed some heavy, underlying floral fruit.  In the mouth was white candy-like fruit, not-quite crisp acidity, then rounder flavors of delicate white peach with a little tart tang.  The wine was balanced with a little, fine ripe finish.  This young wine eventually developed white stones which mixed with some tannins.  **(*) 2014-2020.


2010 Domaine Rolet, Chardonnay, L’Etoile, Jura
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  Alcohol 13%.  The subtle nose was apple-like.  In the mouth the white fruit had weight with good, drying stone texture.  There was fresh acidity in the start, lots of personality, and youth.  **(*) 2014-2024.


2006 Domaine du Coulet (Matthieu Barret), Brise Cailloux, Cornas
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 13%.  There was a nice nose of floral aromas, pepper, and leaves of violets.  It was finely delineated with a hint of sweet, spiced orange peel at the end.  There was tart red fruit which was acidity driven from the start.  The flavors continue through the wine eventually showing a hint of maturity.  It was steely with minerals, and a black fruit with graphite finish.  The structure slowly came out, leaving some very fine tannins on the gums.  ***(*) Now-2025.


2007 Stolpman Vineyards, Grenache Estate, Santa Ynez Valley
This  Alcohol 15%.  There was fresher, younger red fruit with an orange citrus aroma.  It was a fine wine in the mouth mixing red fruit with a darker core and ripe, fine, drying tannins.  It took on perfumed fruit, young but very attractive.  It dried out a bit with air but kept a sweet, ripe finish.  It took on some orange peel flavors with air, along with dry, very fine tannins.  Best on the first night.  *** Now-2018.


2008 Domaine du Pegau, Reservee, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by Kirkcrest Imports.  Alcohol 14%.  A slighter darker core.  The nose was older with earthy, smoky aromas.  It was a little sweaty with some blood.  The mouth followed the nose with ripe fruit, tannins, and acidity which tickles the tongue tip.  It had a lipstick finish and a long, expansive, beautiful aftertaste.  With extended air a youthful core of fruit came out suggesting longevity.  **** Now-2023.


2007 Domaine Grand Veneur, Clos de Sixte, Lirac
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This was a medium-dark purple color.  It had nose of cassis-like, ripe fruit, and vanilla.  In the mouth was more linear fruit which quickly met an up-front wall of tannins.  These were very fine and drying.  An aspect of the nose came out in the finish.  On the second night this was more approachable with dense fruit, a simpler finish, and a structure that subsided. ** Now-2023.