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01 September 2009

Roussillon: Domaine Arguti, St-Paul de Fenouillet

This is Ugo, Marie-Christine and daughter Angélique Arguti's promising little estate, yet another Bordeaux (Saint-Emilion to be precise) winemaker who realised the Roussillon is better! On a haphazard journey through the region in April 2004, they were so struck by the steep elevated (at 300 metres/1000 feet altitude) vine landscape around Saint-Paul, that they bought four hectares (10 acres) within a few hours. Or so the romantic story goes... These two 2006 wines presented at the Fenouillèdes wine show, held in April 2007 in Tautavel, were barrel samples.
2006 Grenache Gris, vin de pays - pretty toasty but creamy and spicy, nice juicy fruit and concentration, weighty yet fresh too. We'll see how it develops once in bottle. 87-89
2006 Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Grenache Carignan Syrah) - lovely intense aromas, black cherry fruit v rich ripe tannins; delicious already!

2009 update: gosh, two years have just whizzed by again! So, these three Argutis were tasted at the Fenouillèdes wine fair, April 2009:
2008 Le Grand A white (Grenache Gris) - lightly toasty coconut vs juicy lees notes, refreshing mineral mouthfeel vs fatter apricot fruit. 87
2007 Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Grenache/Syrah/Carignan) - quite coconut oaky at the moment although quite rich, spicy and structured too for an 07; tight and firm palate vs dark berry and liquorice fruit. 87-89
2008 CdRV (cask sample) - darker fruit profile, perhaps more concentrated with chunky framework, attractive fruit and style; liquorice and pepper vs solid and dry on the finish. 89+

And this wine in early September 2009 (a medal-winner in this year's St-Bacchus competition - click for full report and reviews of all the wines):
2006 Le Grand A Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Grenache Carignan Syrah 14.5%) - well-made polished style, powerful and peppery with maturing dark fruits vs coconut oak spice and textured tannins; drinking quite well with e.g. fillet steak although it's a bit too punchy and warm on its own. Leave it till winter. However, it does have attractive dry vs lush fruity texture vs savoury flavours; the next day, it was meatier with more savoury/leather notes vs that "sweet" dark fruit and the oak merging into it better; quite nice tannins with a bitter twist, although I still found the alcohol a touch dominant, definitely a big food wine. 89(+)

14 avenue du 16 août 1944, 66220 St-Paul de Fenouillet. Tel: 05 57 74 69 82 (in Bordeaux), mobile 06 80 18 36 22,

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