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Showing posts with label Cairanne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cairanne. Show all posts

27 October 2016

Intriguing white blends 'of the moment' - Rhone Valley vs Austria!

Matthias Krön and Markus Bach from Groszer Wein, (c) Manfred Klimek

Don't be put off by the retro-flowery-wallpaper label and litre bottle size (something of a 'USP' perhaps to use the marketing babble), the new 2015 Csaterberg 'field blend' (to use the old speak) from quirky Austrian winery Groszer Wein is a delicious mix of appley/cider notes and aromatic greengage layered with ripe creamy nutty 'oxidised' edges, nice yeast-lees intensity, pretty concentrated and textured too with full-bodied (13.5% abv) and nutty almost savoury finish, yet lively and dry with a 'salty' tang. Went well with 'baked salmon in watercress sauce and asparagus' (ho hum, M&S should stock it maybe!).
I'm told Matthias Krön and Markus Bach at Groszer Wein (pic. above) have three hectares of vines here, 'located on the south-east side of the Klein-Csaterberg... a south-west extension of the Eisenberg' (hillside vineyard and now a separate sub-zone) in Austria's Südburgenland region. The blend is created from 30+ year-old Welschriesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, 'macerated for 24 hours,' hence the towards-'orange' colour and style, before pressing then 'fermented with wild yeasts in 500 litre barrels and in stainless steel.' So now you know the full story. It's expensive at £25 in the UK - apparently 'only 3000 bottles have been produced' - but this tasty white has got plenty of flavour and you get a big bottle to share! Available from Newcomer Wines in London. Previous words on Groszer Wein HERE.

Not remotely connected to the above but probably got opened around the same time (and I thought it would make a nice 'theme'), leading southern Rhone Valley estate Domaine Brusset has released their Cairanne blanc 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages crafted from an equally intriguing blend of white varieties: Grenache Blanche (as they spell it on the back-label, although I thought Grenache is 'masculine' hence we usually say 'blanc'), Viognier and Roussanne, 30% of it fermented in oak with lees-stirring adding zestiness, nutty creaminess and texture without any obvious oaky flavours, surprisingly floral and elegant actually (13% abv); good stuff. About £12-£14 in the UK (Great Western Wine, Big Red Wine Co.); €16.50 Mitchell & Son Dublin; US: Adrian Chalk Selection (NY); Canada: Rogers & Company (Ontario).
Also tried their 2014 'vieilles vignes' Cairanne red, which, although concentrated and structured, was a bit overly firm and lacking charm (probably needs leaving for a couple of years to see what happens...).
Previous words on Domaine Brusset HERE.

31 May 2014

Rhône: Domaine Brusset, Cairanne

Laurent Brusset's hillside vineyards are found around the old ring-walled village of Cairanne (about 20 km northwest of Orange, not far from Rasteau) and in the nearby 'Plan de Dieu' area (yes, it does mean something like "God's land"). Laurent has just stormed the 22nd 'Cuvée Alliance des Vignerons' competition with his red 2012 and white 2013 (the first time one winemaker has won both I'm told) picked from wines submitted by the 16 member wineries of the local Winegrowers' Association. Appropriately enough perhaps, without venturing too far into fact-geek territory, since Cairanne is one of the 16 'named' Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations. Laurent says his philosophy is "always trying to keep the wine's fruit." More info: www.domainebrusset.fr

2012 Les Chabriles vieilles vignes red Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne (old vines: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah; 40% of it aged in demi-muids; 14% abv) - aromatic and earthy blackberry, kirsch and cassis with peppery liquorice notes; full-bodied and quite punchy, concentrated and fruity with light touch of 'chalky' tannins and subtle dark chocolate bitter twist; warm and powerful with lovely vibrant dark fruit, spice and grip. Yum. £15 for the 2011, Big Red Wine Co (UK).
2013 Les Travers white (Grenache blanc, Viognier, Roussanne; 30% of it barrel-fermented with lees stirring; 13% abv) - yeast-lees and nutty edges with fresh vs baked pear fruit, subtle power, honeyed and white peach too vs aniseed tones and light coconut grain texture; almond flavours and rounded mouth-feel vs a more 'mineral' touch, lees and coconut tones too on the finish. Perhaps needs a few months in bottle to integrate more, good wine though. £12 for the 2012, Big Red Wine Co.

24 April 2013

Southern Rhône: Domaine de Dionysos, Uchaux

Apparently this vineyard goes back to the 18th century, when the Farjon family left Marseille to escape the plague (rather than traffic or gangsters nowadays) and landed in Uchaux to the north of Orange. It was named 'Dionysos' in 1974 by Benjamin's grandfather, the latest generation to get stuck into the earth, in partnership with winegrower Dimitri Théodosiou who owns vineyards in the Visan area. The estate is now certified organic, and these two guys have recently turned their attentions to "working with biodynamics." Varieties planted are what you'd expect for this southern Rhône Valley region: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, "very old" Carignan and Viognier. Some of these wines are available in Ireland at Byrne hotels (three in Galway and one in Dublin) and Direct Wines/Laithwaite's in the UK (see £ below). Also sold "in the US and elsewhere in Europe" I was told: more @ domainededionysos.com.


2012 La Devèze Viognier - lovely perfumed honeyed apricot notes, juicy and rich palate with a bit of oomph (14% abv), attractive sunny style.
2012 La Devèze rosé Côtes du Rhône (Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault) - juicy red fruits with oily/nutty edges, lively cherry fruit with nice bite on the finish.
2011 La Devèze red Côtes du Rhône (Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan) - delicious 'sweet' liquorice and spice, soft and tasty palate, lovely easy-going style. £9.99 for the 2010 at Laithwaite's.
2011 La Cigalette Cairanne (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre mostly) - similar enticing Grenache-led profile with liquorice, ripe raspberry and peppery edges; more concentrated though with firmer mouth-feel and fairly powerful, but still drinking nicely now. £10.99 for the 2010 at Laithwaite's.
2012 Toute nue pour votre plaisir (Syrah with no added SO2 - nue meaning naked or bare) - lovely pure and spicy fruit, quite soft and layered with dark cherry Syrah fruit, bit of grip on the finish vs tasty and fruity.

01 March 2013

Southern Rhône: +50% Grenache half-dozen

Here's another gratuitous Grenache mini-feature, this time focusing on six or seven Grenache-laden reds (re)discovered at a tasting last year, although these vintages (2010 and 2009, both very good) are probably still on sale. I've picked out a few I thought were pretty typical of the kind of lush spicy sunshine red you'd expect and want from the southern Rhone valley, from widely available to 'specialist merchant' and costing £7 to £15 in the UK.

Les Dauphins Réserve 2010 Côtes du Rhône, Celliers des Dauphins (60% Grenache, 40% Syrah; 13.5% alc.) - nice juicy ripe sweet Grenache fruit with spicy cherry undertones, quite soft and easy-going, attractive style. £6.99 Dedicated Wines (widely available).
Belleruche 2010 Côtes du Rhône, M. Chapoutier (50 Grenache, 50 Syrah; 13.5% alc.) - well-known name and label, this is similar to the above wine although more extracted and firmer, yet layered with nice sweet fruit. £9.50 Mentzendorff.
Les Coteaux 2009 Côtes du Rhône Villages, Boutinot (85 Grenache, 15 Syrah; 14% alc.) - quite rich and spicy with lush liquorice and blackberry fruit, punchy and grippy palate vs plenty of lovely soft dark fruit. £8.90 Boutinot.
Réserve du Crouzau 2010 Côtes du Rhône Villages Saint Gervais, Vignobles Foncalieu (80 Grenache, 20 Syrah; 14.5% alc.) - attractive Grenache nose and palate, rich and ripe vs powerful and peppery, tasty sweet fruit vs grip on its weighty finish. £7.99 The City Beverage Company, Hennings Wine Merchants.
Vacqueyras 2010, Domaine de la Soleiade (55 Grenache, 45 Syrah) - more perfumed and minty even, black cherry and liquorice with smoky edges too, concentrated powerful and firm with delicious ripe fruit. £13.10 Charles Taylor.
Les Pierres du Vallat 2010 Gigondas, Vignerons de Caractère (60 Grenache, 30 Syrah, 10 Mourvèdre14.5% alc.) - showing similar wild herb/minty edges, gripping chunky and concentrated vs dark fruit and peppery tones, fair weight with attractive dry tannins vs sweet fruit finish. £14.50 Charles Taylor, €17.60 cellar door. Bottle shot copied from vigneronsdecaractere.com.
Les Plans 2010 Vin de Pays du Vaucluse, Domaine Santa Duc (50 Grenache, 25 Syrah, 15 Merlot, 10 Cabernet13.5% alc.) - meaty savoury notes, pretty solid chunky mouth-feel yet has nice 'sweet/savoury' fruit on the finish. £8.75 Bancroft Wines.

07 June 2012

Rhone: Domaine Coteaux des Travers, Rasteau


And not forgetting Cairanne too: they grow four ha (10 acres) of vines in that neighbouring village sub-appellation to Rasteau and ten in the perhaps now better-known latter (if you see what I mean), where they make regular reds and fortified Vin Doux Naturel reds both centered on sumptuous Grenache. The team here is headed up by Robert Charavin, whose family wine roots go back to the Revolution I'm told. They recently turned fully organic in 2010, the first "official" vintage tasting-noted below at this year's Millésime Bio wine show held in Montpellier, and have since set off down the more mystic path towards biodynamism. Two of these reds (not sure which two...) cost €10.80 a bottle cellar door; and this estate is well represented in North America, the UK and Ireland: see www.coteaux-des-travers.com for distributors and some nice photos as below.
2010 Cuvée Marine white Côtes du Rhône (Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache blanc, Viognier) - nice oily honeyed nose and palate vs juicy fruit, quite soft and exotic vs light 'mineral' bite. Good stuff.
2010 Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages (Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah) - peppery vs liquorice aromas/flavours, again it's quite soft on the palate vs punchy spicy finish; a touch baked perhaps but has nice Grenache style.
2010 Rasteau Réserve (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) - spicy peppery nose, richer liquorice-tinged Grenache fruit in the mouth and more structured too vs nicely rounded tannins; firm vs peppery vs concentrated finish. Lovely hearty red typical of what you'd want from this area.
2010 Rasteau Prestige (Grenache, Syrah: older vines, fermented in large cone-shaped wooden vats) - tighter and more structured, peppery and punchy mouth-feel then closes up on the finish; needs a couple of years to come out of its shell. Should be very good though.

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