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16 December 2009

Roussillon: Domaine Rossignol, Passa

Pascal Rossignol
Pascal Rossignol (which means nightingale, pic.) and his wife Fabienne have 25 hectares (62 acres) of vineyards in Les Aspres zone just outside the village of Passa, west of the A9 motorway between Perpignan and the Spanish border. Originally co-operative growers, they decided to do their own thing and built a cellar and visitor centre a few years ago to focus on quality estate wines.

Tasted Feb/March 06:
Côtes du Roussillon Futs de Chene (Syrah, Grenache & Carignan, 14%) - needs a little air to open up, developing earthy plum fruit with light red pepper notes; quite firm and chunky tannins yet also has good depth of fruit for this vintage, rounded out by a touch of chocolate oak. €7.50 87
2004 Muscat d'Alexandrie sec Vin de Pays d'Oc (Muscat, 13%) - yet another nice example (see below) of a fresh, dry, crisp and mineral Muscat; this one has aniseed characters too and is quite concentrated with elegant length, try with Thai food. €4.20 87

2004 Côtes du Roussillon rosé (Syrah & Grenache, 13%) - gentle ripe red fruit cocktail with elegant acidity adding freshness. €4.50 85-87
2004 Côtes du Roussillon rouge - attractive young berry fruit combines with lightly dry tannins to produce a nice red for drinking with simple food. 83-85
2004 Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres 'Bérénice' (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre & Carignan) - just bottled when I tasted it, so the spicy aromatic oak is a little dominant at the moment; however, this has attractive texture and elegant depth of perfumed fruit underneath, subtle length too. 87-89
2003 Côtes du Roussillon Futs de Chene 'Le Graal' (Syrah, Grenache & Carignan, 14%) - some complex sulphide notes on the otherwise closed nose, powerful concentrated and grippy mouthfeel; very young, needs at least 2 years to show itself. 89+

Tasted June 2007:
2006 Muscat sec, vin de pays des Côtes Catalanes (13.5%) - floral grape and white peach aromas with light aniseed notes; soft yet full palate, nice and fresh but rounded too. €4.50 87+
2005 Côtes du Roussillon rouge (Syrah Carignan Grenache 14%) - attractive perfumed spicy plum and black cherry nose; nice juicy ripe fruit v lightly dry bite and grip, rounded and soft v power too. €5 87
2004 Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres Bérénice (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre & Carignan) - vanilla coco oak tinged with spicy floral cherry fruit; medium depth, rounded v extracted grip. Quite elegant I guess but seems a bit simple and obvious in terms of overdone new oak v depth of fruit. €9.50 however! 85-87

Update 2009/2010 I went to see the ever cordial Pascal and Fabienne in mid December 09 to catch up and taste their latest releases. Having started down the organic pathway a few years ago, 2009 is their first certified organic vintage.
2008 Muscat sec vin de pays - elegant grapey Muscat aromas with honeysuckle and aniseed too; fuller and oilier on the palate with nutty edges, nice juicy crisp finish; easy tasty dry white. 80-85
2008 Schistes Côtes du Roussillon (mostly Syrah + Grenache & Carignan from their higher altitude vineyard near Oms, 14%) - attractive pure spicy fruit showing lots of black cherry and white pepper; enticing fruity Syrah style with a bit of grip and depth, refreshing bite on the finish too. 87
2007 Bérénice Les Aspres 
Côtes du Roussillon (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan) - a touch estery/banana-ish on the nose with grainy oak tones, quite concentrated though showing good depth; it hasn't really come together yet although has rounded tannins and attractive finish. Leave it for 6-12 months to mellow out. 87+
2006 Graal Côtes du Roussillon (Mourvèdre + Carignan & Syrah) - quite aromatic cherry and black olive on the nose; fairly oaky palate yet with dense fruit and gripping tannins, big mouthful but well-handled and promising too. 89+
2009 Muscat de Noel - deliciously fresh and Muscat-y, luscious and sweet vs citrus peel bite and tang. Try with blue cheeses. 85
2004 Rivesaltes Ambré - turning walnut-ty and spicy with its Madeira-like undertones; tangy vs rich and oily, intricate and cheesy then a bit of oomph to finish; needs a few years to come together although it is nice now actually. 87-89
2007 Rivesaltes Grenat (Grenache 17%) - quite youthful and closed up (it was rather cold as well); vibrant black cherry fruit in the mouth, fairly lush then firm and punchy. A bit young at the moment but attractive style. 85+

Plus the latest medal winner is HERE (World Grenache Competition 2013).

Route de Villemolaque, 66300 Passa. Tel/fax: 04 68 38 83 17; domaine.rossignol@free.fr, domainerossignol.fr.

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