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01 February 2009

Roussillon: Clos de Paulilles, Port-Vendres

'Anse de Paulilles' from domainedevalcros.comClos de Paulilles is a 90 hectare (220 acre) estate, the biggest in the area with most of the vines spread around the stone cellar; something you don't often see amid the intricate collage of vineyards running along the coast from Collioure to Cerbère. Vines and winery nestle close to the sea on a picturesque bay between Port Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer, and the outdoor restaurant is open throughout the summer. The Dauré family also offers al fresco dining at Château de Jau, their property near Cases de Pène tucked away in the northern Roussillon countryside. They own a Chilean winery as well called Viña las Niñas.

Tasted Oct 2006:
2005 Collioure blanc (Grenache blanc & gris part fermented in barriques) - a bit cold for tasting (as opposed to nice temperature for quaffing) but shows floral notes, crisp mineral and aniseed palate with nutty rounded yet fresh finish. 85
2005 Collioure rosé (Grenache Syrah) - lots of vibrant red fruit aromas and flavours, quite chunky mouth-feel, textured and tasty v crisp and long. 87-89
2002 Collioure rouge (70+% Mourvèdre & Syrah) - smoky and ripe, nice grip v mature fruit, still could develop; good for a 2002. 89
2003 Banyuls 'Vintage' (= Rimage, see below. 100% Grenache) - lovely fresh black cherry fruit, solid dry tannins v sweet fruit, attractive style. 90
2002 Banyuls Cap Béar (aged in bonbonnes = glass demijohns. 100% Grenache
) - more tawny in style with rich dried fruits, softer tannins and leather & raisin notes, long fine finish. 90-92

By the way, I also tried these Château de Jau wines (a tasting measure of each I hasten to add) with the grilled lunch menu at their idyllic restaurant in September:
2005 Côtes du Roussillon blanc (Vermentino Roussanne Marsanne) - fresh and mineral with crisp citrus fruit v touches of yeast-lees. Served with fougasse aux olives, a Mediterranean flat bread.
2005 Le Jaja de Jau rosé, vin de pays d'Oc (Grenache Syrah) - fun quaffable fruit juice to go with toasted tomato bread & cured ham.
2002 Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Syrah Mourvèdre Carignan Grenache) - mature rustic style, nice dried cherry fruit on an easy palate; drinking now, it won't get any better. Grilled lamb cutlets.
2005 Muscat de Rivesaltes - lovely intense lemon and grape aromas, refreshing bite v rich sweetness; works well with the Roquefort.


Wine of the moment February 2009:
2008 Les Clos de Paulilles rosé Collioure (Grenache Syrah 13%) - chunky, red-fruity style with nice 'vinous' style, texture and weight; dry and zingy v creamy and full. A touch pricey though at €7.50. 87+

Clos de Paulilles, 66660 Port-Vendres (signposted off the main road between Port-Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer). Tel: 04 68 98 07 58, daure@wanadoo.fr.

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