January 30, 2012

NYC Wine Tasting Group, Noel en France

From the Rhone Region: 2009 Michel Gassier Nostre Pais Costieres de Nimes – 80% Grenache Blanc, 10% Viognier, and 10% Roussanne
Even more serious is the 2009 Nostre Pais (80% Grenache Blanc, 10% Viognier, and 10% Roussanne), a more honeyed, richer, fuller-bodied effort with plenty of texture as well as beautifully pure notes of quince, white currants, flowers, and an unmistakable minerality. Half of the wine is barrel fermented and the other half is aged in concrete. This fresh, textured beauty exhibits structure, purity, and length. Rated 91 The Wine Advocate

From the Southern Rhone Valley: 2010 Domaine Vindemio Imagine (Cotes du Ventoux) – 50% Grenache/50% Syrah
An absolutely outrageous value and a great wine in its own right, the equal part blend of Syrah and Grenache, the 2010 Vindemio Imagine, is also aged completely in concrete casks, This is an amazing wine, displaying notes of meat juices, spring flowers, black raspberries, blackberries and cassis. Full-bodied, unctuously textured, rich and full, but with remarkable purity and freshness, this is a terrific effort from proprietor Jean Marot. Drink it over the next 5-7 years, although it could actually last a lot longer. Rated 95 The Wine Advocate

From the Languedoc region: 2006 Mas Cal Demoura L’infidele Terrasses De Larzac (Coteaux du Languedoc) -blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault
“A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, and like the majority of wines here, matured primarily in 500 liter barrels, only a small percentage of which are new – the Cal Demoura 2006 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac L’Infidele displays an uncanny combination of palate richness and viscosity with vivacious brightness of fruit and fine-grained tannin. Plum, cherry, bay, raw beef, dark chocolate, and black pepper all vie for attention, along with undertones of caulk and wet stone, and tart fruit skin and pepper lend an especially brash cast to the finish. Based on the evolution of wines from the era of Jullien ownership – in homage to which, with certain attempts at improvement, this cuvee is explicitly intended – I have no worry about projecting a decade of rewarding evolution. And based on the pricing of recent vintages, this should also represent an excellent value.” Rated 91 The Wine Advocate

From the Southern Rhone: 2010 Andezon (Cotes Du Rhone) Rouge – 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache
“The classic cuvee, which has long been selected by importer Eric Solomon, is their 2010 Domaine d’Andezon, a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache. While there are critics of Syrah grown in the southern Rhone, even the cynics agree that the old-vine Syrah from the Gard has a special character to it. This wine comes from 40+-year-old Syrah vines and 60+-year-old Grenache vines, bottled unfined and unfiltered after being aged in both tank and concrete. Dense ruby/purple, with a stunning nose of blackberry liqueur and jus de viande (beef/meat juices), it’s thrilling, intensely pure, full-bodied mouthfeel, good freshness, and striking floral character all combine for one of the very best bargains in dry red wine that readers are likely to find anywhere in the world. This is super and should continue to drink well for another 3-4 years.” Rated 91 The Wine Advocate

From Bordeaux: 2007 Chateau Bouscaut Cuvee La Gargone (Bordeaux) Superieur – 48% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec
Good bright ruby-red. Redcurrant and a whiff of burning tobacco on the nose, with hints of cedar, herbs and tobacco that carry through onto the palate. A fruity, juicy midweight with a light touch and good energy. Firm tannins will not get in the way of enjoying this wine over the next five or six years. Rated 88 International Wine Cellar

From the Southern Rhone: 2009 Domaine Roche (Cotes du Rhone) – 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Carignan
Ripe and fresh, delivering a tangy hint of mesquite to frame the blackberry and raspberry fruit. A note of baker’s chocolate lingers on the solid finish. Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. Rated 89 Wine Spectator