Posts Tagged ‘Rasteau’

A tasting with Lou: Sandlands, Sanguis, Soumade and more

November 3, 2019 Leave a comment

Lou and I gathered quite a while ago to drink some randomly selected wines.  A new wine for me is the NV Phillippe Tessier, Phil’en Bulle.  It is a little sweet for me so perhaps better with dessert.  Of particular note is the white wine 2017 Linne Calodo, Contrarian, Paso Robles.  I should also note the very young 2016 Domaine la Soumade, Cuvee Prestige, Rasteau which, with several years of age, will become a very good wine.  2017 Sandlands Vineyards, Red Table Wine, Contra Costa County is a young wine for drinking now.  A solid bottle of 1989 Raymond Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, Napa Valley delivered surprise and pleasure.  A pair of Sanguis offered a fun comparison even if they should have been drunk up a few years ago. The 2011 Sanguis, 11-A, John Bastiano is very clean, chalky, and full of verve.  For a brief bit, I preferred the luxury of the 2011 Sanguis, 11-B, Bienacido but it sadly cracked up after a short period.

NV Phillippe Tessier, Phil’en Bulle, Loire
A Zev Rovine Selection imported by Fruit of the Vine. Alcohol 12.5%. A slightly hazy, light straw yellow. Very fine and strong bubbles carry the ripe, sweetish start. Some yeast the short finish.  **(*) Now.

2017 Linne Calodo, Contrarian, Paso Robles
This is a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Picpoul Blanc, and 20% Viognier. Alcohol 13.7%. Refreshing with good acidity white nuts and expansive flavor. A core of tropical fruit remains but the gum, coating texture adds presence. Notes of pastilles in the finish. **** Now – 2022.

2011 Sanguis, 11-A, John Bastiano, Santa Rita  Hills
Alcohol 14%. A very light color with a green tinge. A little toast on the nose eventually blows off. Tart with some berry toast. Clean with chalk and yellow fruit. Plenty of verve. ** Now.

2011 Sanguis, 11-B, Bien Nacido, Santa Maria Valley
Alcohol 14.8%. A touch more fruit and weight, oily in the middle with a steely finish. Racy with good balance, it has some toast flavors. With air it begins to crack up revealing acidity and heat.  *** at best but Past Prime.

2017 Sandlands Vineyards, Red Table Wine, Contra Costa County
A blend of Carignan and Mataro. Alcohol 12.9% Grapey with cranberry flavor and chalky tannins. Tart with crunchy acidity this sports an interesting mineral, fruit blend.  *** Now – 2022.

2016 Domaine la Soumade, Cuvee Prestige, Rasteau
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. A grapey, young color and tight, grapey nose. Tight in the mouth but there is a lovely vein of fruit through the linear structure. Beautiful fat from the ripeness, it is powerful, building flavor. ***(*) 2024-2034.

1989 Raymond Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, Napa Valley
Mature with Eucalyptus. Some firmness in the mouth but the Cab flavor comes out. In fresh shape this is a tasty wine with focused, ripe fruit, some dry wood notes, and structure in the end. *** Now.

An approachable Rasteau

November 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Guillaume Gonnet has produced wine at his family estate since 2006.  His short duration in the Southern Rhone is most likely why this is a new wine for me.  I typically find young Rasteau a bit burly but not the 2015 Guillaume Gonnet, Le Maestro, Rasteau.   This is a gentle, savory wine that can be enjoyed now.  This approachability might be a bit atypical but it tastes good!  You can grab a few bottles from MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Guillaume Gonnet, Le Maestro, Rasteau – $17
Imported by Misa Imports.  This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was vinified and aged in concrete vats.  Alcohol 14%.  There is a little plum and prune on the nose.  In the mouth this is a gentle wine with cool, dark red fruit flavors that turn racy in the middle.  Here it becomes mineral with black and fine spicy, baking spices.  It is dry in the long finish.  Overall, a very approachable, savory wine.  *** Now – 2019.

Pungo’d for Pleasure

David Bloch uses the Pungo so he can drink a wide variety of wines every day of the week. Here is one recent selection.


2015 Domaine de Fonsainte, Gris de Gris, Corbieres
An annual purchase from the Kermit Lynch portfolio.  The wine performs so well every vintage.  This year’s bottling is as impressive as ever.  Apple, pear, minerals and melon.  Not a bruiser but flavor-packed and food friendly.

2012 Von Hövel, Oberemmeler Hütte Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Great nose.  Almost a real Saar Kabinett.  Bitter almond.  Cream.  Lemon tart.  An extremely well-balanced wine – plenty of ripe fruit with a nice streak of acid and minerals.  Really long.  A baby with a long life ahead.

2000 Fratelli Revello, Barolo Vigna Giachini
Really nice wine. Mature. Floral and sweet even. On the red fruit spectrum.  Oddly, day two found a very tannic wine that wasn’t nearly as good as day one. Therein lies the unpredictable nature of Nebbiolo.

2010 Domaine les Grands Bois, Rasteau Cuvée Marc
On the large size, the tannins have integrated and the wine is a big mouthful of the Southern Rhone. Black fruited – I think the Mourvedre really pushes forward while it only accounts for a minority of the cepage.  Spices.   A tad overdone perhaps?  I suspect the wine may have needed more time to mellow.  Good with beef.

Four bottles with a touch of age

November 23, 2015 Leave a comment

We spent much of our spare time in November painting our living and dining rooms in anticipation of hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner at the house.  It is impossible to not be excited about the holiday so while mature wine was generally required, I did not want to drink anything precious.  The best of the bottles we tried is clearly the 1999 Gourt de Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau.  Some four years ago I guessed it would start drinking well this year and it is!  This is always an expensive wine for the appellation, current vintages run over $60 per bottle in the States, but it repays with cellaring.  Right now this savory wine shows dark fruit integrated with gorgeous structure.  If the evolution of our bottle is any indicator this vintage will continue to develop with even more age.  Also from Rasteau, the 2000 Domaine du Trapadis, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau has aromas of roast earth which indicate to me that it is on the decline.  Unfortunately, this bottle remained firm rather than open but was still pleasing enough to drink on its own.  The final bottle of 1985 Quail Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley came from the Earthquake Cellar which explains the wine stained label.  This small wine proved fully mature without evidence of decline.  I appreciated the old wood and leather which come with age.


2008 Domaine Humbert Freres, Bourgogne
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was quite attractive, fully mature but not gone.  There were similar flavors initially in the mouth before the overwhelmingly tart red fruit came out.  Some pleasure could be derived but I imagine this must be drunk with food in the mouth.  * Now.


2000 Domaine du Trapadis, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed clean, mature fruit which competed with roast earth aromas.  In the mouth this wine was still firm with red and black fruit.  The structure was still present in the minerally, roast flavored finish.  With air the flavors took on some weight with cherry liquor notes before shedding intensity in the finish.  Will last but will always be firm.  ** Now – 2020+.


1999 Gourt de Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  Alcohol 14%.  This weighty wine builds power simultaneously with the developing ripe and grippy tannins.  The menthol-like freshness persisted as does the watery acidity and bit of heat that breaks out in the end.  The fruit is primarily dark but aspects of raspberry candy come out, all of which match the strength of the structure that coats the gums and teeth.  With extended air, this savory wine takes on sweeter, blueberry fruit with both density and texture.  ***(*) Now – 2025.


1985 Quail Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Alcohol 13.3%.  The roasted earth aromas hint at a wine beginning to decline.  The mouth was better with some thickness to start.  The flavors mixed with old wood box, old perfume, and a hint of eucalyptus and old leather in the finish.  The tart cherry fruit matches the integrated acidity, very much present from the start.  With air the wine fleshes out some.  ** Now.


Five bottles from old and new estates

Lou and I met up last week for some Spring Break bottles.  We each bagged up our wines for fun.  I was fairly confident that the 2013 Chateau Graville-Lacoste, Graves Blanc was mostly Sauvignon Blanc.  I could not place a location though and in truth, I am not sure if I have drunk a Graves Blanc before.  It turns out it only has a minority of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend which speaks to its strength.  This bottle proved to be on the young side so I’d check back in a year or two.  For the 2012 San Salvatore, Trentenare, IGP Paestum Fiano I guessed some chalky Italian white wine.  On the first night this wine was in perfect balance with a sort of fruit and acidity combination I usually find in German wines.  It drank perfect.  On the second night it was a touch softer and nuttier.

Incredibly I never knew that Chateau de Vaudieu is an 18th century estate. French books from the 19th century often include the de Vaudieu name as amongst the best of Chateauneuf du Pape.  This includes la Nerthe and de Condorcet.  Today the estate is owned by Famile Brechet and Philippe Cambie is the consultant. The 2012 Chateau de Vaudieu, Chateauneuf du Pape is clearly young and rugged so I would cellar it for a year or two.  The 2012 Chateau de Vaudieu, Amiral G., Chateauneuf du Pape is all old-vine Grenache which delivers hedonistic flavors.  It is weighty yet textured with plenty of salivating acidity and just enough structure that it comes across as more drinkable than the first.  It is a lovely wine with a very long aftertaste which coats the gums.   Finally, the popped-and-poured 2012 Xavier Vignon, Xavier, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau held its own.  Its a brighter wine that was initially rounded and subdued in a way that I thought Chateau Mont-Redon.  Of course I was wrong, it was a sexy Rasteau, that finally revealed its origins after a few hours of air.  It was not out of place with the regular Chateau de Vaudieu.  The Graville-Lacoste was purchased at Pearsons, the Xavier Vignon at Fleet Street Wine Merchants, and the remaining bottles at MacArthur Beverages.


2013 Chateau Graville-Lacoste, Graves Blanc – $18
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 75% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle sourced from ~45 year old vines on soils of clay and limestone on fissured rock.  It was vinified and aged in stainless steel.  Alcohol ?%.  At first there were grassy, Sauvignon Blanc aromas but with air, deeper notes from the Semillon developed.  In the mouth were lighter, white fruit with a clear start and tart finish. Seems young. **(*) 2016-2020.


2012 San Salvatore, Trentenare, IGP Paestum Fiano – $23
Imported by Banville and Jones.  This wine is 100% Fiano sourced from vines on calcareous clay that was vinified and aged in stainless steel.  Alcohol 13%.  This was a crisp wine with perfectly, enlivening acidity.  The wine was textured with a long aftertaste of chalk.  With air the wine remained lively on the tongue but showed nuttier flavors.  It had lovely balance, a more prominent fruit profile, and an attractive citric tang in the aftertaste.  **** Now.


2012 Chateau de Vaudieu, Chateauneuf du Pape – $40
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 74% Grenache and 26% Syrah with the later aged for 14 months in barriques.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose revealed higher-toned aromas that were followed by similar flavors on the tongue tip.  The wine developed weight in the midpalate then eventually showed its rugged, youth in the finish.  There was also good acidity and an aftertaste that brought dense, grapey flavors, spices, and a touch of heat.  This wine is approachable now but best cellared for the short term.  *** Now-2025.


2012 Chateau de Vaudieu, Amiral G., Chateauneuf du Pape – $90
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is old-vine 100% Grenache which was aged for 18 months in demi-muids.  Alcohol 15%.  There was a smooth, weighty yet textured start with dry cinnamon spices.  The wine comes across as more forward but it still has very fine tannins supporting the blue fruit flavors.  It show grip in the back of the throat as it ends of salivating acidity and flavors that stick to the gums.  Long aftertaste.  **** 2017-2027.


2012 Xavier Vignon, Xavier, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau – ~$23
Imported by Petit Pois Corp. This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre that was aged 50% in tank, 25% in demi-muid, and 25% in smaller barrels. Alcohol ?%.  There were young grapey aromas that had a hint of raisins.  In the mouth was a rounded start with flavors that became bluer towards the finish.  With air the wine took on attractiveness roughness with a firm structure of very fine tannins supporting the wine.  It finished with spicy, black fruit that had both smooth and rugged aspects.  *** 2017-2025.


The silky wines of Domaine de Verquière

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

These two wines from Domaine de Verquière were forward drinking with smooth, clean fruit.  To support this nature the fruit is de-stemmed and malolactic fermentation is blocked.  The 2012 Domaine de Verquière, Rasteau is a very solid wine that still provides a hint of that attractive Rasteau rusticity.   It should improve over the short-term.  The 2012 Domaine de Verquière, Vacqueyras certainly stepped things up with greater depth of flavor and an engaging, racy finish.  There was a lot going on but it had a sense of tranquility about it.  It drinks well now but might be worth holding off until later next year.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Domaine de Verquière, Rasteau – $19
Imported by Esprit du Vin.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah which was aged for six months in concrete and older barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  There were interesting berry aromas on the nose.  The mouth begun with cherry fruit that was somewhat dense and round with a hint of glycerin at first.  The flavors were clean with plummy and figgy notes but not in an overripe sense.  This had a sense of rusticity followed by very fine and ripe tannins that coated the mouth in the aftertaste.  **(*) Now-2018.


2012 Domaine de Verquière, Vacqueyras – $27
Imported by Esprit du Vin.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault which was aged for six months in large oak casks.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was full of plummy fruit.  In the mouth the plum flavors were pure, round, and deep. This wine left a sense of tranquility and balance.  The fruit became sweeter, not from residual sugar, towards the finish where notes of minerals mixed in.  This wine left a riper, racy impression towards the finish.  Oh yes, there was a nice structure too.  *** Now-2019.


The Return of Chateau du Trignon

The wines of Chateau du Trignon have not appeared on this blog since we hosted a tasting of 1998 Gigondas back in 2008.  I suspect it has been almost as long since the Cotes du Rhone selections were last sold at MacArthur Beverages. These earlier vintages were made under Pascal Roux until 2007 when he sold the estate to Jerome Quiot.  Both the 2011 Chateau du Trignon, Cotes du Rhone and the 2009 Chateau du Trignon, Rasteau will benefit from another year in the cellar.  They both offer clean, if somewhat unexciting, flavors.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Chateau du Trignon, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed firmer black fruit.  In the mouth the firm black fruit continued, tight and linear at first before taking on some spice in the finish followed by a little pebbly texture in the aftertaste.  ** 2015-2019.


2009 Chateau du Trignon, Rasteau – $20
Imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre  Alcohol 14%.  There were polished flavors of black and red fruit.  The acidity was there along with a subtle supporting structure.  With air it  took on some fresh, firm cherry fruit that morphed to fresh, blue fruit in the finish.  It remained polished in nature.  **(*) 2015-2020.