Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

Saline Syrah from Morocco

The 2014 Domaine des Ouled Thaleb, Syrocco, Syrah Zenata, Morocco is the result of a joint effort between Domaine des Ouled Thaleb and Alain Graillot, a Northern Rhone wine producer.  Syrah is the red grape of the Northern Rhone and it shows to good effect in this wine.  I find there is a distinct salinity throughout this blackberry flavored wine.  It is a fun wine to share with friends.  I purchased my bottle at MacArthur Beverages and ordered it off the list at St. Anselm DC.


2014 Domaine des Ouled Thaleb, Syrocco, Syrah Zenata, Morocco – $25
Imported by Europvin.  This wine is 100% Syrah fermented in concrete vats then aged for 15 months in tank and large oak casks.  Alcohol 13%.  Salty with blackberries and though maturing, it clearly has staying power.  There is fine texture from the structure and supportive acidity.  The salinity is remarkable.  **(*) Now – 2024.


September 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I recently perused the wine racks of my local liquor store.  I cannot recall the last time I stopped by for I am usually dismayed by the selection and prices.  However, there is typically some off-beat wine and this time it was the 2008 Domaine Riad Jamil, Carignan from Morocco.  I quickly calculated that at $22 per bottle it was worth the experience.  It turned out to be a perfectly acceptable wine offering peak drinking.  I did think the fruit a touch soft and the smoke a bit overt but it left the impression of being from a different land, which is what I wanted.  It is expensive given the choice of wines at the price point but it is worth it just to try a Moroccan wine.  This wine was purchased at the Montgomery County Liquor Store in Silver Spring.


2008 Les Celliers de Meknes, Domaine Riad Jamil, Carignan, Beni M’Tir – $22
Imported by Volubilis Imports.  This wine is 100% old-vine Carignan which was whole cluster carbonic maceration then aged for six months in a mixture of new and used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was lightly smokey with black fruit. The mouth followed the nose with watering acidity.  The fruit was a little soft but there was a moderate structure to keep it together.  There were fine, ripe tannins.  The flavors turned blacker and smokier with air.  A little wood box flavor came out.  * Now-2015.


Alain Graillot’s Collaboration in Morocco

Somehow I had never heard of Alain Graillot’s venture with the Domaine des Ouleb Thaleh winery in Morocco.  Alain Graillot is famous for producing wine in Crozes-Hermitage.  During a 2003 cycling trip in Morocco Alain Graillot met the team of Thalvin at the Domaine.  He decided to collaborate with the winery with Syrocco being the result.  Domaine des Ouled Thaleb is the oldest operating winery in Morocco.  It is located 20 miles northeast of Casablanca on the Northern coast. In 1923 the first vintages were planted and the winery was built, just 11 years after the first French colonists begin to plant vines.  The Thalvin Winery was created in 1968 and now produces wine from some 400 hectares of vines.  The vineyards on the Plateau Brachoua Ain are planted on soils of sandy shale and gravel sand, which receive maritime winds.  The vineyards of Rommani are of black soil on chalky clay soil located on rolling hills at 2,000 feet.

We drunk this wine over two nights with both of us rather enjoying it the first night.  On the second night the wine was nowhere near as interesting. To hit its sweet spot I would decant it for half an hour then make sure to consume the entire bottle.  There is not a lot of complexity to the wine but at its peak it is freshly satisfying.  This wine is available at Wine World & Spirits of Seattle.  For a post on Alain Graillot’s Rhone wines please see Three Crozes-Hermitage From Alain Graillot.

2009 Domaine des Ouleb Thaleh, Thalvin, Syrocco, Zenata – $20
Imported by Cavatappi Distribuzione.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from  young vines on the 20 ha vineyard of Rommani and 35 hectare vineyard Plateau Brachoua Ain. They were destemmed and fermented in concrete vats.  The wine was aged for half the time in tank with the rest of the time in 50% new and 50% used Burgundian barrels.  On the first night there was cranberry-like red fruit with acidity that became fresh and ripe with air.  The cranberry and raspberry flavors were puckering with fresh acidity, underlying notes of black fruit, and a grapey finish. On the second night the fruit became slightly stewed with notes of underbrush and puckering red fruit.  ** Now-2013.

Wine World is now Wine World & Spirits

Privatized liquor sales became legal in Washington State just a few days ago.  I decided to stop by Wine World to take a look at the liquor selection and purchase some wine.  Not surprisingly the store name has changed to Wine World & Liquor.  This reflects the fact that the entire back wall and some additional shelving, is now dedicated to liquor.  We have a pretty thorough selection of international spirits in Washington, DC so I like to check out what is locally distilled.  There appears to be a continuing increase in spirits from Washington and Oregon.  Should I have the money and I time I would certainly taste them but for now I made do with looking at the labels.

I decided to continue my exploration of Spanish wine by picking up a pair from Montsant and grabbing a bottle from Bullas, a region I had never heard of.

  • 2009 Coop Vinicola-Agrana San Isidro, Cepas del Torro, Monastrell, Bulllas
  • 2006 Bodeas Covitoro, Gran Cermeno, Crianza, Toro
  • 2005 Cellers Sant Rafel, Solpost, Montsant
  • 2007 Buil & Gine, 17.XI, Montsant

I was distracted by the Other European section where there is quite a selection of Greek, Georgian, Croatian, and Romanian wines.  Of course I could not resist an Alain Graillot wine from Morocco.  So I ended up with:

  • 2009 Chateau Kefraya, Les Breteches, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
  • 2009 Thalvin, Alain Graillot, Syrocco, Zenata, Syrah, Morocco
  • 2009 Kayra Vintage, Okuzgozu, Single Vineyard, Collectible Series #5, Turkey