Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tasting of Northern Rhone 2010 and Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 and 2006

I recently attended a dinner where the wine theme was Rhone and we tasted wines from both northern Rhone and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Most of the wines where from 2010, which is considered to be a fantastic, but still very young vintage. The youthfulness was also very apparent in the tasting and we also felt that some of the wines had gone into a tunnel phase.

Below are tasting notes and some basic information about some of the producers.

Rhone wines 2010

2010 E. Guigal St. Joseph Lieu-Dit St. Joseph Rouge

The Guigal family have had an enormous influence on the development in the region. They do both Estate bottling and act as negotiant, and today they produce wines from both Northern and Southern Rhone.

Rather sweet and soft fruit combined with slight vanilla notes. Careful but rather precise acidity on the palate where we again find vanilla and the soft fruit but also some white pepper and oranges. Tannins are very velvety and of good quality, though there is a hint of oak bitterness in the finish.

Pleasant and likable wine but rather one dimensional and simple.

86p/100

2010 Domaine Yves Cuilleron St. Joseph Les Serines

Domaine Yves Cuilleron has vineyards in St. Joseph, Condrieu, Côte Rôtie, Cornas and St. Péray. They produce wines in a rather modern style but are increasingly careful with oak and today use less than 20% of new oak.

The nose is dense with fruit notes, herbs and hints of oil paint. Still it manages to keep an energetic and fresh expression.

The acidity is amazing but a bit dominant at the moment. The balance should improve greatly with time. There is mainly dark fruit in the beginning but then some red fruit comes through, together with minerals and a hint of marzipan.

The wine has fantastic precision and should develop beautifully with time.

92p/100

2010 Domaine du Tunnel (Stéphane Robert) Cornas Vin Noir

The style of Domaine du Tunnel i classical/traditional and they avoid new oak barrels to avoid masking the wine. In their Cornas Vin Noir the grapes are from 100 year old vines.

Dense dark fruit, orange peel, spices and some under vegetation greets us in this rather forward nose.

The palate opens up with almost sourish red fruit together with softer blueberries. boysenberries and some black pepper in the background. Tannins are very present but of good quality and never gets dry.

Great nose but the palate gets a bit heavy and has a slight bitterness. This wine needs much more time to reach the peak but the potential is good.

91p/100

2010 Domaine du Colombier Hermitage

This wine is made of grapes from three different lieux-dits in Hermitage. Before 1991 the grapes from these vineyards where sold to negotiants. They ferment the grapes in whole clusters and the wine has been aged in french oak barrels, where approximately 30% are new.

A compact nose with an abundance of oil paint and soft dark fruit from blueberries, boysenberries and a hint of violet. Despite the masculine expression the nose manages keep a freshness.

The palate has a slightly sweet expression but this is complemented well with an energetic acidity. There are lots of berries, both red and dark but unfortunately also oak notes that masks the fruit and makes the wine slightly heavy. The tannins are clearly also affected by the oak treatment.

The wine has a fantastic nose but gets heavy on the palate and you need a break between each sip.

91p/100

2006 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée

Domaine du Pegau produces Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine in classical style with no destemming or new wood. The red wines are dominated by the Grenache grape.

Very ripe fruit, mainly plums and apricot, but also a slightly oxidized expression and some tobacco and violet. Initially the wine has some barnyard notes but these quickly disappear.

The palate has sweet red berries, some ginger and sandy tannins. Acidity is very careful and soft but still present.

For a wine showing this amount of ripe fruit and with a rather low acidity it manages to stay surprisingly fresh.

90p/100

2010 Domaine Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes

Domaine Chante Cigale represent a more modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The vines used for this wine are at least 80 years old and the wine has been aged in both stainless steel tanks and new French oak barrels.

An abundance of dense fruit, some orange peel, tea, herbs but also some green notes make up the nose. The palate has a powerful expression with some clear alcohol notes. Again there is a green touch to the wine and there is some black pepper, boysenberries and a rather fresh acidity. The finish unfortunately gets rather bitter, probably from oak.

86p/100

A creamy, powerful 2012 Les Clos from Fevre

We have praised domaine William Fevre before and especially the work by the team behind Didier Séguier. The 2012 Bougros was tasted in a vertical here. This post also summarises our thoughts of the 2012 vintage. The fantastic 2010 Les Clos was tasted here.

DSC046452012 Chablis grand cru Les Clos, William Fevre

Colour is quite crystalline lightly yellow pale with tints of green.

The nose emerges with immediate popcorn, nettles and hazelnut. You need to decanter this at least for two hours, but then more nettles arrive to the scene as well as lime, citrus-peel, and elegant perfume of white flowers.

On the palate, the texture is very creamy, soft and chewy. A quite big-bodied and powerful wine in accordance with its vintage, but still with remarkable precision and amazing concentration. A very aromatic wine with a lot of dried tropical fruit, walnuts, sea grass and of course citrus flavours. All coated in really fresh, impeccable and mineral-driven acidity of high quality wrapping olive oils and rocks.

A broad-shouldered and ample wine with steadfast focus and immense freshness.Obviously, not as balanced as the amazing 2010, but still really refined, focused and with a lot of finesse. It is drinkable now, but I would wait until 2018 for perfection. Perfect to fat fish dishes or shell fish.

94+p/100

A 2009 Amoureuses from a detail-focused fan of gravity in Volnay

Now, we are back after the x-mas holidays!

Mr Patrick Landanger, with a background of running a family business of developing surgical equipment with several inventions of his own, is the producer of the wine this time. If you pay him a visit, you’ll notice several inventions, e.g. the glass constuction on each barrel used when topping them.

Like many other vignerons in Burgundy, he employs cold soak for a few days, in his case, seven and then 21 days of maceration on the skins. The grape juice is raised in 30% new oak for 18 months on the lees without batonage and Mr Landanger is a big fan of gravity and thus avoids any side-effects from pumping. He pays attention to the moon calendar, but thinks biodynamics is too religious. The roots in his parcels in this great vineyard are quite young; replanted in 1976 and 1977 and they were acquired in 2008 when Daniel Moine was selling out. This bottle is the very first bottling of Amoureuses under the Domaine de la Pousse d’Or’s label. The vineyard was according to rumours in very bad shape when Patrick took over.

DSC046662009 Les Amoureuses 1er cru, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or

Colour is transparent, red orange with typical pink-orange edges. However. less pink than usual and very beautiful indeed. Hence, a little more blood orange than pink almost like a nebbiolo wine. 🙂

A nose of immediate popcorn, newly cut ginger and subtle notes of cardamom. The vineyards recognisable, seductive and hedonistic inner perfume emerges extremely slowly after two hours in waves. After another two hours, newly cut rose petals and white lilies appear as top notes as well as grape-peel and the sought-after morning-dew on gravel.

On the palate, the red fruit is clean, pure and dominated by wild strawberries, but also red currant and ginger as well in the anorectic building body with quite long and somewhat elegant finish. However, oak is a little dominating yet. Acidity is fresh, cool, but except from grape-peel, it wraps overly saline crystalline minerals; almost salty and a little bitter. Unfortunately, it is a little diluted too, but precision is here and elegancy. Texture is soft, but still spurs too much in the cheeks and needs much more time.

It certainly lacks concentration, is overly saline and a little bitter, but still it offers the elegancy and perfume from this sacred and wonderful vineyard with some precision. Since this is the first wine Patrick produced, most likely quality will improve and we need to try upcoming vintages. Open in 2019.

92-93p/100