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Posts Tagged ‘Saint-Peray’

Several recent bottles drunk with friends and one without

It is a treat to have friends with strong interests in cookbooks, cooking, and cocktails who are both curious and excited to try new wines.  This meant that earlier this year I shared bottles not just from France but Croatia, Turkey, and Israel.  These were all youngs wine that I opened to expand their experience with wine regions.  At the beginning of the summer I was fortunate to purchase a number of old and mature wines (in case you have not yet noticed the radical shift in average vintage that Lou and I have been opening).  With a slew of vintages mostly from the 1970s my patiently cellared Rhone wines from the 1998 vintage now seem no longer precious.  Though modest in selection, they were the oldest bottles I owned so I held fast.

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At a small dinner this past weekend we started off with the recently acquired 2007 Yves Cuilleron, Les Poitiers, Saint-Peray.  I had no clue what to expect nor did Phil who pointed the wine out at MacArthur Beverages.  This blend of Marsanne and Roussanne was surprisingly young!  It showed some maturity in color but the palate was fresh with good acidity.  I did not take any notes at dinner so I am curious to try another bottle.

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We then proceeded to a trio of red wines including the previously described 2003 Brick House, Cuvée du Tonnelier, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley.  The other two bottles were minor Chateauneuf du Pape that I had forgotten about until I unpacked my wine in the new house.  I was expecting less from the 1998 Comte Louis de Clermont-Tonnerre, Chateauneuf du Pape but it offered plenty of fruity aromas and a burst of clean, uncomplicated fruit in the mouth.  The finish was rather short and my interest faded fast.  I called it a one trick pony to which S. commented that he liked this pony.  I think though he ultimately preferred the 1998 Domaine Saint Benoit Grande Garde, Chateauneuf du Pape which was clearly favorite amongst the group.  It was austere at first but over a few hours it fleshed out to show reasonable complexity and appealing structure.  You could drink this now after an hour in the decanter or over the next five years.

With that selection largely finished I returned with a double-decanted bottle of 1975 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron, Pauillac.  This particular example was rather stinky with a strong leather component on the nose and in the mouth.  It was too distracting so I eventually gassed and re-corked it.  I finished off the bottle the next night after which the stink had left.  The leather was still prominent but the wine had some heft and made for a decent Sunday night drink.  With the Pichon out of favor I then returned with the bizarrely consistent 1971 Chateau Montgrand-Milon, Pauillac.  This wine is very stable (perhaps filtered?), showing good fruit and though smaller in personality, is engaging enough.  I suspect it would work well at lunch.

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For dessert Lou opened the 2007 Domaine des Baumard, Coteaux du Layon.  This sweet, Chenin Blanc based wine drank forward without being heavy.  It was a spot-on match for our raspberry tart and a good note to end the evening.

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One bottle that Jenn and I drank alone this week is the 2000 Domaine La Garrigue, Vacqueyras.  Apparently I bought four of these, of which I discovered three bottles at the time I also discovered the pair of 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape.  My tasting note from four years ago did not offer much promise.  I was hoping for bottle variation in the positive direction but this was not the case.  It remained ethereal in flavor with very fine, drying tannins, and some heat.  It only became harder with air.  Drinkable but not pleasurable.

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Some Good French Wines From Saint-Peray to Maury

December 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Reading multiple posts about Wine and the Sea is certainly thirsty work.  Any of the wines featured in this post would be a worthy choice.  I am afraid I am a little slow in posting about the wines of Les Vins de Vienne, a collaboration between Cuilleron, Villard, and Gaillard.  The 2010 Les Vins de Vienne, Les Cranilles was an excellent selection but it appears to be out of stock.  Instead you could go with the 2011 Les Vins de Vienne, Saint-Peray which is drinking well right now.   The Chateau Saint-Roch of Lafage is producing interesting wine.  The 2011 Maison Lafage, Chateau Saint-Roch, Kerbuccio is good wine for the money and only the second dry red wine I have had from Maury.  This bottle carries the Maury Sec designation which was first allowed for the 2011 vintage.  The other dry Maury is the 2010 Sarl Fractured, Shatter.   The 2009 Maison Lafage, Chateau Saint-Roch, Chimeres is still young and a little raw at this point, I would cellar it a little longer.  It has been one year since I last tasted the 2010 Domaine d’Aupilhac, Montpeyroux.  It is becoming more approachable but it is best to continue waiting.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Les Vins de Vienne, Saint-Peray – $25
Imported by DHI.  This wine is 100% Marsanne aged 9 months in barrels and tanks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a light yellow straw.  There was a light and tight nose.  In the mouth the wine had a round, glycerin infused body with focused white fruit, good acidity, and minerals.  There were dried herbs and drier flavors in the finish which left minerals and lightly salivating acidity.  *** Now.

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2010 Les Vins de Vienne, Les Cranilles, Cotes du Rhone – $17
Imported by DHI.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre aged for 12 months in tanks and barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was light with focused, fruity and grapey aromas.  In the mouth were youthful, concentrated flavors which were almost tart.  There was red and black fruit, acidity which worked very well, and some developing ripeness.  With air there was a little smoke and bacon flavor in the finish.  It had good tannic texture, nice ripe tannins, and red grapey flavors in the finish. Nice wine.  *** Now – 2020.

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2009 Maison Lafage, Chateau Saint-Roch, Chimeres, Cotes du Roussillon Villages – $15
Imported by Eric Solomon.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre.  The Grenache and Carignan are sourced from vines 50+ years of age.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose was a little reductive at first, eventually revealing macerated fruit aromas.  In the mouth were pungent, red fruit flavors, grapey tannins, and almost citric acidity on the back of the tongue.  It was tangy with a little weight to some red and blue flavors.  It was a little raw in nature.  **(*) 2015-2019.

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2011 Maison Lafage, Chateau Saint-Roch, Kerbuccio, Maury Sec –  $20
Imported by Eric Solomon.  This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, and 30% Grenache sourced from vines on black schist soil which was aged for 8 months in concrete tanks. Alcohol 15%.  The nose was slightly reticent.  In the mouth were good focused fruit flavors of floral black fruit and black tea.  There was integrated acidity and structure with tannins reminiscent of fine stones.  The wine was almost chewy before the long, expansive aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2023+.

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2010 Domaine d’Aupilhac, Montpeyroux, Coteaux du Languedoc – $19
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 30% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 16% Grenache, and 4% Cinsault.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 20 months in old foudres and oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  Though still young this is becoming more approachable.  The level of very fine and strong tannins suggest further aging is best.  **(*) 2014-2022.

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A Lovely Marsanne from Yves Cuilleron

Jenn and I really liked this bottle of 2006 Yves Cuilleron, Les Cerfs, Saint-Peray.  It had a strong presence from the very first sip, even when it was too cold.  There is always much to do when we are back home in the evening so my first glass sat around for quite some time before I could taste it again.  It was brilliant at cellar temperature and repeatedly drank well over three nights.  What a treat!  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2006 Yves Cuilleron, Les Cerfs, Saint-Peray – $25
Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant.  This wine is 100% Marsanne sourced from various parcels on granite soils.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts, underwent malolactic fermentation then aged for 9 months in barriques.Alcohol 13.5%  The color was a light to medium golden straw.  The nose was textured with white and yellow fruit.  The mouth follows the nose with good texture, slowly building ripe, yellow perfumed fruit.  The flavors expand in the mouth as the wine warms up.  There were ripe spices, tart on the tongue tip with some barrels note.  This was fresh but weighty with salivating acidity in the finish.  The aftertaste was long. **** Now-2023.

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