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Posts Tagged ‘Savoie

MWG Feburary 21st tasting (6/8): Four middleweight reds

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Vin de Savoie 2011, Mondeuse, La Sauvage, Domaine Pascal & Annick Quenard ($21.80, 10884671)
100% Mondeuse Noire. Manually harvested. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in carbon-fiber vats for one to two weeks. Matured on the lees one year in a mix of French oak barrels and stainless-steel and carbon-fiber vats. Lightly filtered. 12% ABV.
Choco-cherry segueing to pomegranate and sandalwood, then to dried raspberry. Light- to medium-bodied. The clean fruit and dark minerals are framed by light tannins and tart aciditiy. As fresh and pure as a draught of mountain air. (Buy again? Yes.)

Bourgueil 2010, Domaine de la Chevalerie ($28.10, 11895268)
100% organically farmed Cabernet Franc. Manually harvested. Fully destemmed. Gravity fed into vats. Fermented with native yeasts. Minimal sulphur regime. Matured in two- to five-vintage demi-muids and other large containers. Bottled unfiltered. 12.5% ABV.
Lovely, layered nose of slate, undergrowth, cherry orchard, old wood and green pepper. Fluid with an airframe structure, good acidity and silky fruit over a minerally substrate. Long. A beautifully balanced Cab Franc that’s enjoyable now but also capable of aging at least five years. (Buy again? Yes.)

Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato 2011, Cascina ’Tavijn ($24.70, oenopole, NLA)
A small estate located near Asti in Piedmont. 100% organically farmed Ruchè. Hand harvested. Vinified with indigenous yeasts and minimal intervention. Matured in Slavonian oak barrels. 14% ABV.
Fragrant: rose petal, slate and black raspberry. Pure, with an intense core of spicy fruit and minerals, pulsing acidity and soft tannins that give it a velvety texture. Long, herby finish. Going by the 2009, this will be even better in a year or two. (Buy again? Yes.)

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2011, Marzaiola, Monte Schiavo ($18.05, 11451894)
100% Lacrima. Manually harvested. Fermented and matured in stainless steel vats. 12.5% ABV.
Plum, rose and maybe some violet, along with darker mineral notes and a whiff of sourdough. Fruity and smooth in the mouth. Round tannins and not a lot of acidity. In fact, it’s borderline flabby and saved mainly by a vein of slate that adds some structure and depth. Drying finish. Not quite up to the 2009. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Written by carswell

March 9, 2013 at 13:17

Glou and the wines of Jean-Yves Péron at Hôtel Herman

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Since 2004, Jean-Yves Péron has been making wines using fruit from very old vines (some of them pre-phylloxera) on two hectares of terraced, high-altitude vineyards in Chevaline, near Albertville. After studying oenology in Bordeaux, he trained with natural winemakers Thierry Allemand and Jean-Louis Grippat in the Rhône valley and Bruno Schueller in Alsace. Organic farming, indigenous yeasts, non-interventionist wine-making, avoidance of filtering and fining and use of little or no sulphur make these natural wines of the first rank.

Montreal-based agency Glou, which represents the estate in Quebec, recently held a tasting of Péron wines at Hôtel Herman. The prices are high but these are rare wines (the Quebec allocation of the Grande journée is 18 bottles) on a different and arguably higher plane than their compatriots. All left me feeling that I’d like to spend more than a few minutes with them.

Vin de table français 2010, Cotillon des dames, Jean-Yves Péron ($42.50, 12 btls/case)
100% Jacquère aged sous voile, i.e. under a protective layer of veil-like yeast, similar to the Jura’s vin jaune, whence the name (“women’s petticoat”). 11.5% ABV.
Cloudy, pale bronze-orange. Oxidized apple and peach, minerals, straw, faint spice. A bit tight in the mouth. Acidic, not remarkably deep but offering an appealing range of cidery flavours and a hint of salted butter. Long tangy finish. Would probably have benefited from more “airtime.”

Vin de France 2010, Les Barrieux, Jean-Yves Péron ($56.25, 6 btls/case)
Jacquère and Roussanne left to macerate on the skins, like a red wine. Matured in third-vintage barrels. 12.5% ABV.
Hazy, pale bronze. Intriguing if hard to deconstruct nose: sandstone, straw and faint pear/peach? Softer and broader on the palate than the Cotillon. The fruit is understated, yet the wine has real presence. Good balance and a long, minerally finish.

Savoie 2010, La grande journée, Jean-Yves Péron ($74.50, 6 btls/case)
100% Altesse. 13% ABV.
Medium light bronze. Less hazy than the first two wines. A nose to get lost in: pear, oxidized apple, a floral note. Bone dry and quite extracted, yet fluid and fleet. All minerals and spice with the fruit definitely in the background. Strong acidic backbone. Long. Evolving. Multidimensional. A standout.

Savoie 2010, Vers la maison rouge, Jean-Yves Péron ($28.45, 12 btls/case)
100% Mondeuse Noire. Made from grapes from less easily ripened plots. Undergoes carbonic maceration for a few days before being transferred to old barrels. 11% ABV.
Very pale, oxidized ruby; could pass for one of the Jura’s corail reds. Wafting nose of spice, light red fruit, wood, lees and eventually a hint of red meat. Almost white-like in weight and taste, with only a suggestion of red fruit and then only on the lightly peppery finish. Minerally, acidic, barely tannic. A fascinating and aptly named, red-heading wine.

VDP d’Allobrogie 2009, Champ Levat, Jean-Yves Péron ($36.35, 12 btls/case)
100% Mondeuse Noire. Carbonic maceration and fermentation each last about one week, barrel aging about one year. 11% ABV.
Fairly clear medium burgundy. Nose of dusty plum skin, spice, wood, red fruit and violet. On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Astringent yet fluid. A tightly wound ball of fine tannins and bright acid. Lingers long. Refreshing and, I suspect, versatile at table.

Savoie 2009, Côte Pelée, Jean-Yves Péron (NLA)
100% Mondeuse Noire from ancient vines. One week’s carbonic maceration followed by ten days’ to three weeks’ fermentation, depending on the vintage, and one year’s barrel aging. 12.5% ABV.
Clear, medium burgundy. Rich and young-smelling: plum, stone, wood, kirsch. Richer, smoother and more extracted than the Champ Levat. Good balance: lots of tannins and acidity though they’re cushioned by the fruit. Lingering minerally finish. Delicious.

Savoie 2010, Côte Pelée, Jean-Yves Péron ($46.90, 12 btls/case)
100% Mondeuse Noire as immediately above. 12.5% ABV.
Tighter and more primary than the 2009 but every bit as pure. The tannins may be a shade lighter but the fruit and acid are just as vibrant. Stony finish. A beauty.

Written by carswell

September 18, 2012 at 19:36

Two for the life list

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Vin de Savoie 2009, Les Alpes, Domaine Belluard ($26.95, 11544417)
100% biodynamically farmed Grignet. Fermented with native yeasts, no chaptalization, lightly filtered before bottling. 12.5% ABV. My first encounter with the grape variety, which the Oxford Companion to Wine says is the Jura’s Savagnin (the more recent Wikipedia entry casts doubt on that claim).

Soft, elusive nose evoking stones, flowers and beeswax. Light and minerally, even rainwatery, on the palate, the fruit – more sensed than tasted – tending toward lemon. Dry and acid bright, though that’s really apparent only on the finish. Surprisingly long given the ephemeral flavours, with lingering notes of honey and linden blossom. Subdued, yes, but also elegant, pure, quenching and delicious.

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2009, Panse, Monte Schiavo ($18.40, 11451894 though the link is to the 2010, which appears to have a different name: Marzaiola)
100% Lacrima di Morro. Made from manually and machine-harvested grapes, which are fermented for 7-10 days and raised for 3 months off the lees, all in stainless steel tanks. Filtered before bottling. Lacrima di Morro is a “fast maturing, wild strawberry-scented red grape specialty of Morro d’alba in the Marche” (The Oxford Companion to Wine). Reduced to a single hectare in the mid-1980s, the variety has been revived through the creation of the Lacrima di Morro d’Alba appellation.

The nose is one of the most surprising in red winedom: outrageously floral (“rose water,” said one taster; “peonies,” another; “if you were tasting this blind from a black glass, you’d swear it was a Moscato,” noted a third) along with the expected red fruit. Less unconventional on the palate: medium-bodied (12.5% ABV), lightly structured, with a velvety texture, cherry and wildberry flavours and a faint bitterness on a longish finish. Opened at the most recent Pork Futures event, the wine clashed with the headcheese but worked with the liver terrine adulterated with red currant jelly.

Written by carswell

November 15, 2011 at 23:48

October 21st MWG tasting: report

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Notes from one of the most enjoyable Mo’ Wine Group tastings in recent memory. All wines except two are available at the SAQ; the exceptions are private imports that can be ordered from the linked-to agents. Prices are in Canadian dollars and include sales taxes.

FLIGHT 1: FOUR $25 CHARDONNAYS

Chablis 2009, Terroirs de Chablis, Patrick Piuze ($24.65, 11180334)
Made on a négociant basis using native yeasts by 30-something Patrick Piuze, who hails from St-Lambert. Textbook Chablis nose: gunflint, oats, hints of butter and lemon zest. Mild on entry but fast gaining intensity. Pure and minerally, crystalline even. Long, biting finish. Mouth-watering: as fine a Chablis as you’ll find at the price. (Buy again? Impérativement.)

Montello e Colli Asolani 2007, Chardonnay, Villa di Maser ($24.95, 6 bottles/case, Sublime Vins & Spiritueux)
Gold-hued, in contrast to the silver of the other wines in the flight. Smelling a little candied and oxidized: browning yellow apple with pineapple hints. Rounder and denser than the other wines, though nicely balanced. Mild flavoured: straw and minerals more than fruit. Vaporous finish. Seemed to retreat into its shell with exposure to air. Different from – less angular and stony than – the bottle tasted two days earlier, but equally intriguing. (Buy again? Sure, another bottle or two.)

Rully 2008, Les Saint-Jacques, A. & P. de Villaine ($26.60, 10339041)
Introverted, elusive nose: chalk, white flowers and a hint of lanolin. Rich and flavourful (green apple and minerals) with an acidic undertow. Limestoney finish. Impeccable though a little more personality wouldn’t be unwelcome. (Buy again? Maybe but not while the Terroirs de Chablis and Les Clous are available.)

Bourgogne 2008, Les Clous, A. & P. de Villaine ($24.35, 00872168)
Lemon zest and chalk. Medium-bodied, the components better integrated than the Rully’s. Flavours more minerally than fruity, the long, bitter-edged finish more felt than tasted. A lovely, appetizing wine that several of us preferred to the Rully. (Buy again? Sure.)

FLIGHT 2: TWO GAUBY WHITES

VDP des Côtes Catalanes 2004, Le Soula (Gérard Gauby et associés) ($50.75, 10933365)
35% Grenache Blanc and Gris, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Marsanne, Roussane, Macabeu and Chenin, all organically farmed. Native yeasts. Bronze cast to the eye. Wonderfully complex nose: caramelized pear, rocks, herbs, dried pineapple, ash, nutmeg. Smooth, rich and round but with an acid undercurrent. Considerable depth and great length. Probably at its peak or maybe even just past it. The MWG member who took the tail-end of the bottle home with him reports that the wine was still singing 24 hours later. Only a few bottles left in the system. (Buy again? If the budget allows.)

VDP des Côtes Catalanes 2007, Vieilles vignes, Domaine Gauby ($49.50, 11225184)
40% Macabeu, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Chardonnay, 10% Grenache Gris and 5% Carignan Blanc. Native yeasts. Lighter and more golden. Complex but hard-to-pin-down nose that evolved all evening: mineral oil, garrigue, ash, resin, white fruit, acacia blossom, maybe even some caramel…  Rich, almost viscous texture kept from heaviness by an acidic backbone and austere minerality. Broad, deep and layered, turning quartzy on the persistent finish. A superb bottle that, with Rouge Gorge’s Macabéo, shares the honour of being the best Languedoc-Roussillon white I’ve tasted. (Buy again? Will make the budget allow.)

FLIGHT 3: THREE MONDEUSES AND A CLUNKER RINGER

Vin de Savoie 2007, Mondeuse Arbin, Domaine Louis Magnin ($24.20, 10783272)
Black cherry, stones, hint of barnyard. Clean, lean and polished. Sour cherry fruit with a sweet core, fine tannins, bright acidity and a long finish. Wonderfully pure and fresh, as befits its alpine origins. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Vin de Savoie 2007, Mondeuse, Domaine des Rocailles ($14.95, 11194357)
Ash, cherry jam, humus and a whiff of caramel. Light-bodied. Flavours as minerally as fruity. Light, raspy tannins, tickly acid. Bit of astringency on the finish. Could use more oomph but still a good buy at $15, more interesting than many Beaujolais costing several dollars more. (Buy again? Sure.)

Vin de Savoie 2007, Mondeuse, Le Pied de la Barme, Domaine Saint-Germain ($21.85, 10884735)
Fruity, sappy nose with spice and floral notes, not unlike a Beaujolais but with a blood note. A fluid, tasty mouthful of cherry fruit and minerals. A tad funkier than the Magnin. Lively acidity, fine tannins and a long finish. Savoury and elegant. (Buy again? Sure.)

Valle d’Aosta 2007, Mille Pendii, Chambave, Podere Castorani ($25.25, 10780418)
100% Petit Rouge, a variety that Hugh Johnson claims “tastes suspiciously like Mondeuse.” Spice, raspberry and oak with hints of plastic and old sweat. Over-concentrated and tarted up with oak (caramel, vanilla, chocolate). Velvety instead of silky, leaden instead of sprightly, gummy instead of pure. Finish lasts long, far too long. What by any rights should be a light-bodied easy drinker is here a juiced-up wannabe super wine. All flash and no substance. (Buy again? Ha!)

FLIGHT 4: AN ELEGANT SYRAH WITH A QUEBEC CONNECTION

Coteaux du Languedoc 2006, Cuvée Prestige 5 921 km, Terrenum ($38.00, 6 bottles/case, Réserve et Sélection)
100% Syrah from low-yielding old vines in Montpeyroux. Spent nine months in new French oak barrels. Total production: 960 bottles. Made on a négociant basis by Montrealer Simon Thibaudeau. Beautiful, complex bouquet: leather, black and red berries, animale and garrigue, gaining a mineral earthiness and hints of iodine and blood with exposure to air. Smooth and plush on the palate but with a solid tannic frame. More medium- than full-bodied. Fluid, fresh and finely flavoured. The oak is an element, not overpowering; indeed, all the elements are in balance. Long finish. Delicious if a little introverted for now, not peaking for another three or four years and probably able to age another five or maybe even ten years beyond that. (Buy again? Yes.)

FLIGHT 5: THREE TELEGRAPHIC REDS

Gigondas 2007, Les Racines, Domaine Les Pallières ($35.25, 11288409)
80% Grenache Noir, 15% co-planted Syrah and Cinsault, 5% Clairette. Spent ten months in vats, 7-9 months in foudres. Since 1998, the domaine has been owned by Berkeley-based wine merchant Kermit Lynch and the Bruniers, who also own Vieux Télégraphe and who look after the wine-making here. Cookie dough, plum and spice; gains marzipan notes as it breathes. Mouth-filling sweet and savoury fruit. Silky texture despite a tannic underpinning. A bit hot (15.4% ABV) on the long finish, which, as one taster pointed out, has something Banyuls or Maury about it. The MWG member who took the tail-end home with him reports that the wine had fallen apart the next day. (Buy again? Probably not.)

Gigondas 2007, Terrasse du Diable, Domaine Les Pallières ($35.00, 00725937)
90% Grenache Noir, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% Clairette. Spent ten months in vats, 12 months in foudres. Complex and evolving nose: tarry plums, garrigue, baked earth and wood. Supple, smooth and fruity on entry but giving way to a rich mid-palate marked by coursing acid and firm tannins that last through the long, kirsch- and herb-scented finish. Big but balanced. (Buy again? Sure, though 15.2% ABV does give one pause.)

Châteauneuf du Pape 2007, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe ($75.25, 11268897)
65% Grenache Noir, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 5% Clairette and others. Spent ten months in vats, 12 months in foudres. Beautiful nose: heady, brooding with scents of terra cotta, kirsch, crushed rocks, dark fruit, black olives, sweet spice. An elegant mouthful of similar flavours, rich and full-bodied yet not heavy, structured by ripe, round tannins, balanced by acidity. Sweet and savoury intertwine on the seemingly endless finish. Surprisingly accessible for so young a Vieux Télégraphe but also capable of aging for at least a couple of decades. (Buy again? Santa, be good to me!)

Chablis 2009, Terroirs de Chablis, Patrick Piuze ($24.65, 11180334)

Textbook Chablis nose: gunflint, oats, hints of butter and lemon zest. Mild on entry but fast gaining intensity. Pure and minerally, even crystalline. Long, biting finish. Mouth-watering: as good a Chablis as you can get at the price. (Buy again? Mais oui.)

Montello e Colli Asolani 2007, Chardonnay, Villa di Maser ($24.95, Sublime Vins & Spiritueux)

Gold-hued, in contrast to the silver of the other wines in the flight. Smelling a little candied and oxidized: browning yellow apple with pineapple hints. Rounder and denser than the other wines, though nicely balanced. Mild flavoured: straw and minerals more than fruit. Vaporous finish. Seemed to retreat into its shell with exposure to air. Different from – less angular and stony than – the bottle tasted two days’ earlier, but equally intriguing. (Buy again? Yeah, another bottle.)

Rully 2008, Les St-Jacques, A. & P. de Villaine ($26.60, 10339041)

Introverted, elusive: chalk, white flowers and a hint of lanolin. Rich and flavourful (green apple and minerals) with an acidic undertow. Limestoney finish. Impeccable though a little more personality wouldn’t be unwelcome. (Buy again? Not while the Terroirs de Chablis and Les Clous are available.)

Bourgogne 2008, Les Clous, A. & P. de Villaine ($24.35, 00872168)

Lemon zest and chalk. Medium-bodied, the components better integrated than the Rully’s. Flavours more minerally than fruity, the long, bitter-edged finish more felt than tasted. A lovely, appetizing wine that several of us preferred to the Rully. (Buy again? Sure.)

VDP des Côtes Catalanes 2004, Le Soula (Gérard Gauby et associés) ($50.75, 10933365)

Bronze cast to the eye. Extremely complex nose: caramelized pear, rocks, herbs, dried pineapple, ash, nutmeg. Smooth, rich and round but with an acid undercurrent. Considerable depth and great length. Probably at its peak or maybe even just past it. The MWG member who took the tail-end of the bottle home with him reports that the wine was still singing 24 hours later. (Buy again? If the budget allows.)

VDP des Côtes Catalanes 2007, Vieilles vignes, Domaine Gauby ($49.50, 11225184)

Lighter and more golden. Complex but hard-to-pin-down nose that evolved all evening: mineral oil, garrigue, ash, resin, white fruit, acacia blossom, maybe even some caramel…  Rich texture kept fresh by animating acidity. Great breadth and depth. Layers of flavour. Long, increasingly quartzy finish. A superb bottle that shares with the Rouge Gorge Macabéo the honour of being the best Midi whites I’ve tasted. (Buy again? Will make the budget allow.)

Vin de Savoie 2007, Mondeuse Arbin, Domaine Louis Magnin ($24.20, 10783272)

Black cherry, stones, hint of barnyard. Clean, lean and polished. Black cherry with a sweet core, fine tannins, bright acidity and long finish. Wonderfully pure and fresh, as befits its alpine origins. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Vin de Savoie 2007, Mondeuse, Domaine des Rocailles ($14.95, 11194357)

Ash, cherry jam, humus and a whiff of caramel. Light-bodied. Flavours as minerally as fruity. Light but raspy tannins, tickly acid. Bit of astringency on the finish. Could use more oomph but still a good buy at $15, more interesting than many Beaujolais costing several dollars more. (Buy again? Sure.)

Vin de Savoie 2007, Mondeuse, Le Pied de la Barme, Domaine Saint-Germain ($21.85, 10884735)

Fruity, sappy nose with spice and floral notes, not unlike a Beaujolais but with a blood note. A fluid, tasty mouthful of cherry fruit and minerals. A little funkier than the Magnin. Animating acidity, fine tannins and a long finish. Savoury and elegant. (Buy again? Sure.)

Valle d’Aoste 2007, Mille Pendii, Chambave, Podere Castorani ($25.25, 10780418)

Spice, raspberry and oak with hints of plastic and old sweat. Over-concentrated and heavily tarted up with oak (caramel, vanilla, chocolate). Velvety instead of silky, leaden instead of lively, gummy instead of pure. Finish lasts long, far too long. What by any rights should be a light-bodied easy drinker is here juiced up into a wannabe super wine. All flash and no substance. (Buy again? Ha!)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2006, Cuvée Prestige 5 921 km, Terrenum ($38.00, Réserve et Sélecton)

100% Syrah from low-yielding old vines in Montpeyroux. Spends nine months in new French oak barrels. Made on a négociant basis by Montrealer Simon Thibaudeau. Beautiful, complex nose: leather, black and red berries, animale and garrigue. Gains a mineral earthiness and hints of iodine and blood as it breathes. Smooth and plush on the palate but with a solid tannic frame, more medium- than full-bodied. Fluid, fresh and finely flavoured. The oak is an element, not overpowering; indeed, all the elements are in balance. Long finish. Delicious if a little introverted now, not peaking for another three or four years and probably able to age another five or maybe even ten years beyond that. (Buy again? Yes.)

Gigondas 2007, Les Racines, Domaine Les Pallières ($35.25, 11288409)

80% Grenache Noir, 15% co-planted Syrah and Cinsault, 5% Clairette. Spends ten months in vats, 7–9 months in foudres. Cookie dough, plum and spice; gains marzipan notes as it breathes. Mouth-filling sweet and savoury fruit. Silky texture despite a tannic underpinning. A bit hot (15.4% ABV) on a long finish that, as one taster pointed out, has something of a Banyuls or Maury about it. The MWG member who took the tail-end home with him reports that the wine had fallen apart the next day. (Buy again? Probably not.)

Gigondas 2007, Terrasse du Diable, Domaine Les Pallières ($35.00, 00725937)

90% Grenache Noir, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% Clairette. Spends ten months in vats, 12 months in foudres. Complex and evolving nose: tarry plums, garrigue, baked earth and wood. Supple, smooth and fruity on entry but giving way to a rich mid-palate marked by coursing acid and firm tannins that last through the long, kirsch- and herb-scented finish. Big but balanced. (Buy again? Sure, though 15.2% ABV does give one pause.)

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe ($75.25, 11268897)

65% Grenache Noir, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 5% Clairette and others. Spends ten months in vats, 12 months in foudres. Beautiful nose: heady, brooding with scents of terra cotta, kirsch, crushed rocks, dark fruit, black olives, sweet spice. An elegant mouthful of similar flavours, rich and full-bodied yet not heavy, structured by ripe, round tannins, balanced by acidity. Sweet and savoury intertwine on the seemingly endless finish. Surprisingly accessible for so young a Vieux Télégraphe but also capable of aging for at least a couple of decades. (Buy again? Santa, be good to me!)

Written by carswell

October 29, 2010 at 20:28