Archive for June, 2014
Here are 4 tasty, very interesting red wines from southern France.
I have become a real sucker for Old Vine Carignane, especially when it is grown & produced in the hands of an artist like this. Yes, this is a relatively new domaine, but the vines of this 1 hectare parcel are over 100 years old & now really showcases the clay-limestone soils the vines grow in. It really is about the hands on farming & the
hands off winemaking. BUT you really need to know what you are doing!
2009 Roquete Chateauneuf-du-Pape
The Brunier brothers of Vieux Telegraphe bought this domaine a few years ago. This domaine produces a very different Chateauneuf-du-Pape, eventhough the Brunier brothers oversee it. It is really because the vineyards are so different than Vieux Telegraphe & its highly revered La Crau parcel. One vineyard, for instance has more sand, which gives the wines more finesse. Another has galets, for the stony character of top notch Chateauneuf. Yet another has clay on a bedrock of limestone. So, eventhough the grape mix is similar to Telegraphe, the resulting wine is VERY different. Kind of like singing a song in a different voice.
80% Mourvedre, 18 months in foudre, this is bold, masculine Bandol with character, depth, complexity, soul AND finesse in a very unique & different way than its more famous neighbor Domaine Tempier, a few stops down the road.
This is classic Old World Syrah in all its glory. For those tasters asking what a bench mark French Syrah smells & tastes like, here is the one for you. 850 feet in elevation & only 150 feet away from the officially designated Cote Rotie hillsides. WOW!
Today’s winetasting VINO was an opportunity to explore…AND hopefully have some fun along the way.
2012 Chateau Feuillet Petite Arvine
A VERY unique white wine from Valle D’Aosta at high altitudes & hand built stone terraces to hold the soils & vines in place. I believe that is why they planted vines too….so the roots would help hold the soil in place.
“The vines actually sit in a very shallow sandy soil, but their feet wriggle into crevices in the solid granite bedrock. Any rain is quickly dried out by cleansing winds. And the vineyards are planted on an ancient riverbed, where over the millennia the Dora Baltea River has cut through the mountain, creating the current river valley and leaving behind mineral deposits that the wines happily lap up. The trump card, however, may be the exposition of the vineyards, which in combination with the chilly climate, high altitude, and drastic diurnal temperature shifts provides the magic charm sought by vignerons everywhere: extremely long hours of gentle sunlight”.
“Maxime Magnon is part of one of the most revolutionary wine movements in France should give him a justifiable swagger to his step. Born & raised he Burgundy, because he could not afford land there, he founded his domaine down in Corbieres, amid a rocky, limestone-schist terrain, thankfully already the home to a series of organically farmed, really old vines, from heirloom grape selections. La Begou is currently his one white wine—primarily a blend of 50 to 60 year old vine Grenache Gris & Grenache Blanc, wild yeast fermented & so VERY unique in character”.
wild yeast fermented, partly in stainless, though mainly in old demi-muids….& aged for 16 months in 12 year old barrels.
As VINO regulars well know, we are big fans of the wines from Maxime Francois Laurent & Domaine Gramenon. He is part of the vanguard who are passionately & dedicatedly looking to grow & produce their wines as naturally as possible. Here is one that is truly unique!!!! 80% Clairette, 20% Viognier, 30 year old, organically farmed vines grown in clay limestone. The wine finishes its fermentation in the bottle