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Posts Tagged ‘Languedoc

MWG June 21st tasting: report (4/4)

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Coteaux du Languedoc 2007, Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian ($38.00, 11661074)
Syrah (45%), Grenache (30%), Mourvèdre (25%) from 30-year-old vines except the Grenache, which was planted in 1925. Each grape variety is vinified and aged separately. Six to nine weeks’ maceration in concrete and old stone vats with little pumping over. The Syrah is transferred to barrels for malolactic fermentation. Aged in second, third and fourth vintage barrels and demi-muids for nine to 18 months according to the variety, then in stainless steel vats. Unfiltered. 14.5% ABV.
Dark fruit, Asian spice, earth, “pine coney.” Full-bodied. Weighty without being heavy. Heady, packed with ripe fruit, suave tannins and just enough acidity. Long leathery/charry finish. Intense but fine. Needs time. (Buy again? Tempted but will likely wait for the reportedly fleeter 2008.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2009, L’Orée, Clos des Nines ($24.25, 11661091)
A ten-year-old estate. The name refers to the owner’s three daughters (nines in Langue d’oc). Grenache (50%), Syrah (25%), Cinsault (25%). Fermented and aged in vats. 14.5% ABV.
Winey, sawed wood, eventually resin. Mouth-filling but not galumphing. The ripe fruit, soft tannins and pulpy texture are kept sprightly by the fresh flavours and acidity. The fruit slow-fades to spice and earthy minerals on the finish. The supplest, least serious wine in the flight, this has backyard BBQ written all over it. (Buy again? If looking for a Languedoc vin plaisir, sure.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2009, Grès de Montpellier, Château Saint-Martin de la Garrigue ($23.95, 10268828)
Old-vine Mourvèdre (52%), Syrah (27%) and Grenache Noir (21%). Whole-grape maceration. The Mourvèdre and Grenache are destemmed. Batches are selected and blended as soon as fermentation is completed. Aged in second or third vintage demi-muids for 16 months. Repeated racking but no fining or filtration. 13.5% ABV.
On the nose as well as in the mouth, leather, coffee, toasted nut, game and other tertiary-like aromas and flavours dominate, pushing the fruit (prune and fig) into the background. Little sweetness and rigid tannins make for a relatively austere experience. Not as dense as the Bébian or Jullien but just about as long. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2008, Terrasses du Larzac, Mas Jullien ($37.25, 10874861)
Organically farmed Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre and, depending on who you believe, Grenache. Vinified by parcel and aged for around 18 months in demi–muids. 13.5% ABV.
Reticent yet beautiful: dark fruit with cassis notes and hints of dried herbs, cocoa and spice, including a whiff of licorice. Closer to medium than full-bodied, to silky than velvety. The rich fruit is shaped by soft acidity and round tannins. Long, full finish. Vigorous aeration reveals hidden layers and depth: this wine, an epitome of the Languedoc, needs another three or four years to come into its own and will drink beautifully for several years beyond that. (Buy again? Yep.)

Written by carswell

July 3, 2012 at 22:09

Posted in Tasting notes

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MWG May 11th tasting: report (3/5)

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Sierra Foothills 2010, Vin Gris d’Amador, Terre Rouge ($22.10, 11629710)
Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, though neither the estate’s website nor the wine’s Quebec rep say in what proportions. This is a saignée method rose, meaning the juice is “bled” from the red wine tanks. Matured in used French oak barrels, like the estate’s white wines.
Dark red-orange-pink. Caramel, dried herbs, spice, nectarine, crab apple. Heavy, cloyingly sweet fruit, insufficient acidity and little depth. Several people around the table were drop-jawed at Phaneuf’s rave (“Sec, minéral, à la fois délicat et persistant et doté d’un très bel équilibre d’ensemble. Bravo !“). (Buy again? Nope.)

Tavel 2011, La Dame Rousse, Domaine de la Mordorée ($24.80, 11629664)
Perhaps the biggest name in the appellation. Grenache (60%), Cinsault (10%), Mourvèdre (10%), Syrah (10%), Bourboulenc (5%) and Clairette (5%) from 40-year-old vines. Cold-macerated for 48 hours before pressing.
Deep pink bordering on light red. Classic Tavel nose of peach/nectarine, strawberry and garrigue. Dense, winey texture. Dry. The fruit sits heavily on the palate. One-dimensional and unrefreshing. Hot finish (14.5% ABV). (Buy again? For Tavel lovers only, i.e. not for me.)

Coteaux du Languedoc  2011, Prestige, Château Puech-Haut ($19.35, 11629891)
Grenache and Cinsault, fermented and matured in stainless steel. Packaged in a frosted bottle with an embossed seal and glass stopper; a few liked the look, others declared it tacky.
Very pale, almost white. Light nectarine and minerals on the nose. More flavourful than expected, with light, pure fruit and refreshing acidity. Alcohol flares a little on the finish. The best of the bunch, which is not saying much. (Buy again? Probably not.)

Bandol 2010, Mas de la Rouvière ($23.10, 11657403)
The estate has been converting to organic farming since 2006. Mourvèdre (40%), Grenache (30%) and Cinsault (30%). Fermented at controlled temperatures for around 30 days.
Intriguing nose of nectarine with herbal (celery, green pepper) notes. Ripe but not heavy fruit. Some minerality. Fair acidity. Falls flat on the finish. Drinkable is about the best you can say for it. (Buy again? No.)

To go by these four Cellier picks, the SAQ is maintaining its dismal track record with rosés. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are fine pink wines being made in France, Spain and even California, but the only way Quebecers can buy them is on a private import basis. Speaking of which…

Corse Calvi 2011, Fiumeseccu rosé, Domaine Alzipratu ($22.05, 12 btls/case, oenopole)
A blend of saignée and directly pressed juice, mostly Sciacarello though a little Nielluccio may also have made its way into the mix.
Tried this at the April Pork Futures event and immediately knew it would be one of the best rosés – if not the best – that I’ll taste this year. It’s true to the house style: light, refreshing, food- and terrace-friendly, with notes of pink grapefruit and nectarine, a whiff of garrigue and vibrant acidity. The 2011 also struck me as the most minerally Fiumeseccu to date.

Written by carswell

May 19, 2012 at 11:51