It is not too late to purchase wine for this long, holiday weekend. If you are looking for quantities of excellent wine at an affordable price then look no further than the 2015 Chateau Coupe Roses, Bastide, Minervois and 2012 Sella & Mosca,Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva. They are completely different, yet immensely satisfying wines. The Coupe Roses has a fruity, tense personality whereas the Sella & Mosca, is more flavorful, weighty, and touch more mature. I have already purchased the Coupe Roses by the case and plan to do so for the Sella & Mosca. I recommend you do so as well. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Chateau Coupe Roses, Bastide, Minervois – $13
Imported by Vintage ’59. This wine is a blend of 48% Carignan, 46% Grenache, and 6% Syrah. Alcohol 13.5%. This is an earthy and fruity wine with an attractive deep tone. It has the right amount of weight and ink. The very fine structure slowly builds, supporting the ripe fruit which is tense from acidity. There is really good flavor after one hour. The earthy note pervades until the mineral, lip-smacking finish. *** Now – 2018.
2012 Sella & Mosca,Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva – $13
Imported by Palm Bay International. This is 100% Cannonau that was fermented in stainless steel then aged for two years in large Slavonian oak barrels. Alcohol 14%. This is a flavorful, weighty wine with lively acidity that cuts through. There are dry hints of black fruit and a general sense of a warm climate. This is a wine for drinking now with interesting, dark, dry, spiced flavors throughout. There is even a little structure in the end. *** Now.
This post features a number of French wines which we have recently drunk. My favorite pair are the 2013 Ola Raffault, Les Barnabes, Chinon and the 2011 Domaine Cheveau, Or Rouge, Beaujolais Villages. The Raffault is a finely scented, fresh, satisfying herbaceous wine from Chinon. I kept finding myself returning to my glass. The Cheveau has benefited from a few years of age but still retains lovely cool, dense flavors. The 2013 Alleno & Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone is also good with its minerally, black flavors but it will greatly benefit from short-term aging. Of the wines for drinking now the 2014 Chateau Coupe Roses, La Bastide, Minervois offers a tart, red grapefruit profile whereas the 2011 Abbaye Sylva Plana, Les Novices, Faugeres offers forward drinking flavors of raspberry candy. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2014 Chateau Coupe Roses, La Bastide, Minervois – $13
Imported by Vintage 59. This wine is a blend of old-vine Carignan and Grenache. Alcohol 13%. The nose was of raspberry candy. In the mouth the tart red and black fruit had a slight hint of red grapefruit. In general there was a beam of tart and ripe fruit, minimal structure which was integrated, and spices in the end. The tart aspects matched with the developing bitters flavor. ** Now – 2017.
2014 Damien Coquelet, Cote du Py, Morgon – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is 100% Gamay. Alcohol. Tasted over a few days the lovely nose eventually took on graphite notes. This light, bright wine was pure in nature with a lively start, building dry weight, and an ethereal aftertaste. It had slightly watering acidity and a dry, structured middle. The dry flavors existed over a layer of stone and mineral. I suspect this might open up in a year. It is best to cellar it instead of giving it extended decant time because it developed a Pilsner beer note. **(*) 2017-2019.
2013 Alleno & Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone – $15
Imported by Classic Wines. This wine is mostly Syrah that was fermented and aged on concrete tanks. Alcohol 14.5%. The minerally, black fruit flavors left some texture on the gums and juicy acidity on the tongue. With controlled flavors the gentle ripe spices took on some wood notes and persisted through the aftertaste. This needs short-term aging. *** 2017-2020.
2013 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup, Tour de Pierres, Pic St Loup – $17
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose is attractive with delicate floral and graphite aromas. In the mouth the wine has very high-toned, citric red fruit. With extended air it seemed to deepen up a bit and not fall into Pilsner yeast land. ** Now – 2017.
2013 Ola Raffault, Les Barnabes, Chinon – $17
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol 12.5%. This fresh, scented wine is attractively herbaceous. The flavors continue with herbaceous red and black fruit flavors which are dry. This flavorful wine is mouthfilling yet medium-bodied with an almost gentle finish. With air sweet dried herbs come out along with very, very fine tannins. The acidity is indistinguishably integrated. *** Now – 2018.
2011 Abbaye Sylva Plana, Les Novices, Faugeres – $18
A Franck’s Signature Wines imported by Promex Wines. This wine is a blend of 55% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre. Alcohol 14%. The forward flavors of raspberry candy are rounded with mouthfilling weight. With air it takes on some darker notes. Very much a wine to drink right now. ** Now – 2017.
2011 Domaine Cheveau, Or Rouge, Beaujolais Villages – $18
Imported by Rosenthal. This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from vines averaging 50 years of age. Alcohol 13%. The nose remained subtle but in the mouth were cool, dense fruit with watery acidity, a fresh middle, and tannins noticeable in the aftertaste. With air the firm red fruits took on additional flavors of ripe black fruit. The wine remained a little puckering on the sides of the tongue. *** Now – 2020.
We have countered the continual rain and gray clouds by drinking two flavorful bottles of wine. The 2012 Domaine Le Clos du Serres, Le Clos, Languedoc offers surprisingly round flavors of red fruit and black minerals. It is a clean, forward wine that will please many. The 2012 Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat, La Nine, Minervois is darker, earthy, and meaty. While capable of further development, it has a flavor profile I already find hard to resist. While I recommend you try both of these wines, I suggest you start with a case of the later! These wines are available at Weygandt Wines.
2012 Domaine Le Clos du Serres, Le Clos, Languedoc – $18
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 30% Cinsault. Alcohol 14%. The high-toned aromas make way to a similar flavor profile in the mouth but with a surprising round mouthfeel. The red fruit mixes with slightly watering acidity, and a very moderate structure that takes on some grip and black minerals. This is a fine, clean wine with lots of forward flavor. ** Now – 2017.
2012 Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat, La Nine, Minervois – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, and 25% Mourvedre. Alcohol 13.5%. The flavors are fresh, yet deep with earthy and other comfortable notes. The slight prickle on the tongue eventually dissipates leaving a balance of acidity, creamy middle, and textured finish. This meaty wine should develop over the next few years. *** Now – 2020.
Of the four wines featured in today’s post I highly recommend you first try the 2013 Clos de Mont-Olivet, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone and the 2012 Domaine Badoz, Trousseau, Cotes du Jura. The former is an excellent Cotes du Rhone value that will drink well and modestly develop over the next few years. The later is yet another reason to drink more Trousseau. It is best drunk on the first night when the fruit is more outgoing. Lovely stuff! I suspect Jenn and I have consumed the majority of the Old-School Minervois stocks in the DC region. From the same producer you may now try the 2012 Chateau Maris, Les Anciens, Minervois La Liviniere which offers up a very good, elegant example of Carignan. I’ll admit my preference for old-school Vacqueyras but if you enjoy the modern-vein then definitely check out the 2012 Domaine de la Colline St-Jean, Vieilles Vignes, Vacqueyras. This wine will certainly improve with age and is best left in the cellar for the next several years. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2012 Domaine Badoz, Trousseau, Cotes du Jura – $20
Imported by The Country Vintner. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose evokes cherry liquor with pure and light red fruit in the mouth. There is some weight to the flavors and an enveloping, fuzzy ripeness. Though it sports very, very fine and firm structure this wine is best on the first night when it exudes strawberries. With air it becomes leaner in flavor and more mineral. *** Now – 2018.
2012 Chateau Maris, Les Anciens, Minervois La Liviniere – $27
Imported by Verity Wine Partners. This wine is mostly Carignan that was fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak tanks then aged for 18 months in oak vats. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose matched the flavors in the mouth with its somewhat dense, grapey, flavors of purple and black fruit. This is a fruity and acidity driven wine with minimal structure until the finish where some cinnamon spice comes out. The watering acidity wraps everything up. Quite elegant and well done. *** Now – 2018.
2013 Clos de Mont-Olivet, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone – $15
Imported by Dionysos Imports. This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Carignan, and 10% Syrah. Alcohol 14%. The fruity nose sported deep, berry aromas. In the mouth the flavors were clean, well balanced and integrated with fine drying yet slightly ripe tannins. The flavors of plums, raisins, and minerals turned blacker towards the finish. With air the wine developed more structure, blue fruit, spices, and a slight cream hint. **(*) Now – 2020.
2012 Domaine de la Colline St-Jean, Vieilles Vignes, Vacqueyras – $22
Imported by Kysela et Fils. This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was aged for 18 months in concrete tanks. Alcohol 15.5%. The wine was rich and dark with raisin accented fruit. In the mouth were ripe purple flavors in this youthful wine. The fruit was enlivened by watering acidity that matched the grapey nature. This modern wine turned brighter with air. Though it has power and ample tannic structure, it is a balanced wine with attractive minerality. Will certainly improve with age. **(*) Now -2025+.
I apologize for the long silence. I was caught down in the rabbit hole of research only to end up with a cold.
The Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques has graced our tables as a house wine many times in the past. The 2014 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques, VdP d’Herault is the latest vintage which continues to be released at a very low price. I found it a little soft for my preference but have no fear for only $12 you may purchase the rather good 2013 Chateau d’Oupia, Minervois. This wine blends vibrant acidity with black fruit, minerals, and even racy hints. It will drink well for the next couple of years so you can stock up. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2014 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques, VdP d’Herault – $10
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is made from 100% Carignan sourced from 40+ year old vines. Half the fruit was fermented in barrel and the other half by carbonic maceration. Alcohol 13%. There was a soft entry with tart fruit before a lower-acidity profile of mulberry and red fruit became noticeable on the tongue. It did have a bit of a dry-cola grip and some liveliness. This might last a bit but really is a daily wine for now. ** Now.
2013 Chateau d’Oupia, Minervois – $12
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is a blend of 50% Carignan, 40% Syrah, and 10% Grenache sourced from 50+ year old vines. Alcohol 13.5%. This wine started with a bit of vibrant acidity driving the increasingly black and mineral flavors. There was some midpalate relaxation as the wine took on weight. With air it showed good focus and even became a touch racy. *** Now – 2017.
Robert Eden took over Chateau Maris in 1996. With his business partner Kevin Parker, they set about restoring the tired vineyards using biodynamic principles. The estate now has 79 acres of vines that are certified by Demeter, Biodyvins, and Ecocert. In keeping with these principles the fruit is fermented with indigenous yeasts, the wines are not corrected, and they are bottled unfined and unfiltered. The 2012 Chateau Marvis, Old School Rouge, Minervois is specifically produced to preserve the freshness of the fruit. Our particular bottle drank great over two nights with textured fruit, minerals, and rustic structure. There are few wines that have both personality and potential for development at $12 per bottle. This is one of those few so be sure to purchase it by the case! The 2012 Chateau Maris, Continuite de Nature, Minervois La Liviniere is notable not only for the use of a vineyard planted in 1922 but the vineyard’s location in the Minervois cru of La Liviniere. I did not know this cru even existed! In moving from young Syrah to old Carignan the wine offers up ripe, fresh fruit without any seams at all. I must admit I fell for the seductive quality of the wine and did not give it proper time to open up. In order to better gauge this wine I would give it a proper decant or wait until the new year. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2012 Chateau Maris, Old School Rouge, Minervois – $12
Imported by Verity Wine Partners. This wine is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Grenache sourced from 20 year old vines planted at 850 feet of elevation. The fruit was fermented in concrete vats using indigenous yeasts and underwent malolactic fermentation. Alcohol 14.5%. There were controlled ripe and textured black fruit flavors before the wine took on a mineral hint. The wine was balanced by acidity with some roast notes and a drier finish. There is generally a lot of flavor in the mouth with a good aftertaste. With air this subtly rustic wine shows structure for short-term aging, some glycerin and density. **(*) Now-2018.
2012 Chateau Maris, Continuite de Nature, Minervois La Liviniere – $27
Imported by Verity Wine Partners. This wine is a blend of 90% Carignan and 10% Grenache sourced from vines planted in 1922 at 1200 feet of elevation. The fruit was fermented in canonical wooden tanks using indigenous yeasts, underwent malolactic fermentation, then was aged for 12 months in 10% new French oak barrels. Alcohol 15%. There were ripe, fresh and sweet (not from residual sugar) fruit flavors that mixed with cinnamon baking spices and some roast in the finish. The flavors have good energy. The structure is there but it is very approachable now, almost seductive, and should be drunk sooner than later. ***/***(*) 2015 – 2020.
Just a quick post today as I spent the morning on history related correspondence. While all of the wines featured in today’s post are satisfying selections the 2011 Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat, La Nine, Minervois stands out. From the deep aromas to the downright tasty flavors this is a wine to purchase by the case. This complex blend is hard to resist at this stage but should see further development through the winter. Do not miss out! These wines were purchased at Weygandt-Wines.
2011 Domaine Alary, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 15% Carignan. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose bore robust and raw aromas. In the mouth the young fruit had ripe flavors, tartness, and ripe, spiced tannins. It developed a nice inky aspect. **(*) 2015-2020.
2012 Domaine Le Clos du Serres, Les Maros, Terrasses du Larzac – $22
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Carignan. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose revealed a mixture of cranberry and other red fruits. In the mouth were pure flavors of black, tart fruit. The tartness was more of an edge with the wine showing less intensity and better balanced on the second night. The wine had a little ripeness, clean flavors, spot of acidity, and some tannins. Drinking well now. *** Now-2016.
2011 La Bastide Blanche, Rouge, Bandol – $25
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 76% Mourvedre, 16% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 2% Cinsault, and 1% Carignan. Alcohol 15%. The nose was meaty with deep fruit aromas. In the mouth the clean fruit slowly expanded to take on racy, intensely mineral flavors. The tight and fine yet ripe tannins coated the gum. With air the wine show density but kept a freshness that made it approachable now. There was a red fruit and meat note in the finish. This should develop for some time. *** Now-2026.
2011 Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat, La Nine, Minervois – $22
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah. Alcohol 14%. There were deep, attractive aromas. In the mouth were earthy, berry flavors; simply lovely flavor. It was a little savory with a rather moderate structure. This attractive wine developed a flavor of black fruit with cream before the savory, mixed blue fruit of the finish. Attractive. ***(*) Now-2019.