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02 May 2013

Roussillon: Domaine Treloar update

Click here for previous words and wine reviews from 2006 to 2010...

By Kurt Lykke Lindved from facebook.com/Domaine-Treloar-Vineyard-and-Winery

... So it was probably high time I caught up with Jon and Rachel Hesford / Treloar, and was at their winery in Trouillas in central Roussillon earlier this year (where did those last three months go?!). I tried most of their latest vintage releases, as well as some 2011s and 2012s from barrel and vat... and now I've dug up and reopened my trusty old note book, you'll see what I thought below. Jon is very enthusiastic about vintage 2012, by the way, which (quoting from their site) "...for us was as good a year as we have seen.... Although we sorted the bunches by hand, there was little to reject this year in most vineyards. The quality of the grapes coming into the winery was extremely high and required almost no intervention to produce wines of lovely balance and character with great potential..."
This includes what I think is an exciting new blend of old vine Carignan (planted in 1955) and their 1972 Syrah ("the oldest Syrah in Trouillas" apparently), which was whole-bunch fermented with foot treading then aged in 450 litre barrels (it still is probably) for "less oak flavour... fingers crossed!" See note below then. Same goes for their 2012 Terre Promise white, which has been refined over the years, especially or possibly thanks to the addition of Grenache gris and Carignan blanc (the latter also from the 50s) that were purchased with some other little plots in 2008 (the estate started with about 10 hectares in 2006). Then again, Jon did work at Neudorf in New Zealand making white wines going back a few years... And there are some very good reds from vintages 2010 and 2011 on the way too. Euro prices quoted are cellar door, and £.££ approx UK prices from either Leon Stolarski, Swig, Big Red Wine Company, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Nouveau Wines and Edinburgh Wine Merchants among others: see domainetreloar.com/stockists where you'll also find importers for elsewhere in Europe and North America.

2012 Terre Promise white (Grenache gris, Macabeu, Carignan blanc) tasted from cask - nice savoury oat and nut characters vs fresh and 'mineral', rounded vs tight finish; lovely elegant touch.
2011 Terre Promise (13% abv) - quite rich and toasty edges on the nose with exotic apricot and hazelnut, has a hint of crisp bite but it's quite soft now with nice oatmeal touches. €10, £12-£12.50
2011 One Block dry Muscat (13%) - floral grapey and orange peel tones, rounder honeyed palate vs still crisp, fairly delicate and tasty. €6.80, £9-£10
2010 Three Peaks Cotes du Roussillon (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan; 14% abv) - spicy and lightly funky nose, rich dark fruit vs meaty and peppery edges, fresh tannins making it quite tight and elegant too vs a bigger blast of grip, power and fruit on the finish. Needs a little more time in bottle to soften but it's drinking nicely now too (with something hearty). €8.50, £10.50-£11.50.
2010 Motus (Mourvèdre + max 5% Grenache, 14.5% abv) - coconut oak notes layered with dark brooding fruit, big mouthful showing light coconut grain, concentrated and chunky, pretty firm at the moment yet has nice tannins though. Woof, needs time to calm down a bit but looking good already. €12.22, £14-£15
2008 Tahi (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre; 14%) - very peppery and lightly rustic with lots of dark vs savoury black cherry, concentrated wild fruit vs power and firm grip vs maturing more rounded finish. Pretty serious wine, has some of that 3 Peaks character but steps up a level. €17, £17-£18
Click here for older vintages of all these and more.

More cask / vat samples:
2011 Syrah - nice dark cherry fruit with chocolate/coconut touches, light coco grain on the palate too with quite concentrated and lively sweet vs crunchy fruit, attractive rounded vs fresh tannins. Good balance again.
2011 Mourvèdre (new barrel) - toasty oak and dark sweet vs black olive fruit, concentrated and tight with lovely ripe tannins, again showing some fresh acidity too and stylish finish. About 20% of new barrel wine goes into Motus.
2012 Syrah (old barrel) - aromatic violet and black cherry fruit, firm but not aggressive, tight long finish. Promising.
2012 old vine Carignan and 1972 Syrah - lovely and intense, perfumed blueberry vs a sweeter spicier side, nice freshness and actually quite supple tannins, very long finish. Lovely wine, to be bottled as a new blend.

27 April 2013

New Zealand: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer

New Zealand winemakers are well known for their lively expressive Sauvignon Blanc wines and Chardonnays too made in different styles (fresh & fruity, rich and toasty, somewhere in between...). So it makes sense that other 'aromatic' white varieties are coming to the fore in cool climate New Zealand wine country including Riesling, Pinot Gris (Grigio) and Gewurztraminer. Let's not get too excited though: they're still small fry in the vineyard scheme of things, as these three grapes combined amount to about the same area of Chardonnay overall - a bit over 3000 hectares - and are dwarfed by 20,000 ha of ubiquitous Sauvignon blanc.

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.

16 April 2013

World Malbec Day

Further to this blurb just posted on FrenchMediterraneanWine.comIt's tomorrow folks, Wed 17 April, and I'll be busy at an Argentina tasting in Dublin sampling as many Malbecs as I can no doubt (report on that to follow after the event). This 'special Malbec happening' is the latest in a curious fashion for lesser-known grape varieties to cheekily book themselves into everyone's diary once a year (well, for wine geeks at least). As for my other southerly French blog, well, I wrote a mini-series of quite long pieces about a Malbec roadtrip around Cahors country not so long ago, so you could amuse yourself with those I suppose:
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part1 Château Les Croisille - Château Combel La Serre - Château Tour de Miraval.
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part 2 Châteaux du Cayrou, Famaey, Métairie Grande du Théron, Latuc.
CahorsMalbec roadtrip part 3 - Châteaux Haute-Serre, La Caminade, Armandière and more...

Back to Argentina, here's a fruity little "Malbec of the mo" tip to be going on with until my full report from said tasting sees the dark of night:
Viñalta Malbec 2012 Mendoza - attractive easy-going 'modern' fruity style with lots of lively berry fruits and spicy vs liquorice hints, soft and rounded palate with a little substance and grip just to finish it off. Marks & Spencer £7.49
Happy, erm, Malbec day then.

More Malbec from Argentina HERE.

World Malbec Day

It's tomorrow folks, Wed 17 April, and I'll be busy at an Argentina tasting in Dublin sampling as many Malbecs as I can no doubt (report on that to follow after the event on WineWriting.com). This 'special Malbec happening' is the latest in a curious fashion for lesser-known grape varieties to cheekily book themselves into everyone's diary once a year (well, for wine geeks at least). As for this southerly French blog, well, I wrote a mini-series of quite long pieces about a Malbec roadtrip around Cahors country not so long ago, so you could amuse yourself with those I suppose:
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part1 Château Les Croisille - Château Combel La Serre - Château Tour de Miraval.
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part 2 Châteaux du Cayrou, Famaey, Métairie Grande du Théron, Latuc.
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part 3 - Châteaux Haute-Serre, La Caminade, Armandière, and more...


And here's a link to a "Malbec of the mo" from Argentina on my other blog:
www.winewriting.com/2013/04/world-malbec-day featuring Viñalta Malbec...
Happy, erm, Malbec day then.


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