Virtual Tasting Series: Week 4 "The South Will Rise Again"

This VT is an interesting one for me as the first three weeks of this series mimicked the contents of my cellar by volume (Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah). After that there is a drop-off so finding something that would appeal to the broad spectrum of the board was first and foremost in my mind rather than what I would open. This being the Holiday Season means there is a lot of food on the tables and that calls for another food friendly VT.

So let’s go South. Southern Rhone that is. I’m loosening the reigns a bit here so you can be more creative. Show me your Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Carignane! Let’s hear from Lirac, Gigondas, CdP, Vacqueyras, Rasteau… Word on the streets is that they even do these wines in places other than France [wink.gif] . Blends, individual varieties… This should get a lot of tasting notes.

Seeing this is the time of year to give I have decided to give of myself rather than of my wallet. I will donate my time as a volunteer to a local charity that has always been special to me. Bob Burke’s Kids helps terminally by ill children hosting fun events all year round that help enrich their lives as they struggle with their disease. Completely funded by volunteer time and public donation they are always in need of help. I will donate 10 minutes of my time for every tasting note. How busy do you want to keep me? The choice is yours.

Happy Tasting!

P.S. I’ve noticed that participation in the VT series has dropped each week from 3,000 views week 1, to 2,400 week 2 and 1,600 on week 3. Let’s get those numbers back up. It’s all for a good cause and your tasting enjoyment.

I see a Tercero in my future :slight_smile:

Rat, good choice. I’m in starting tomorrow. I like the time idea for donation, too.

Frenchie, we need this stuck to the top of the page.

Great call Brian! And a very generous pledge of your time. Let me remind everyone that Brian made a very generous financial pledge to Laura’s House in week 1 as well! Let’s raise a glass to his generosity [cheers.gif]

I just tallied my cellar and so far the VT series as covered 62.5% of my bottles in just 3 weeks. S. Rhône covers another 18% and the last major category besides stickies. Time to pop some corks [berserker.gif]

I opened this last night, and will have the remainder tonight so hope this counts. Happy that my wine choice finally dovetails with this project. Here’s to keeping Brian busy!

La Clarine Farm Mourvedre “Cedarville” 2012 PNP. Nose of papaya overlayed on red fruits - redcurrants and ripe red cherries. Lacks the piney/green aspect of last year’s version. Good intensity of fruit/flavor married to a weightlessness on the palate which is really beguiling. Carries its 14.2% effortlessly. Worked well as an aperitif as well as with food. Love this stuff and a great QPR.

Paul from Halćon is sending me a sample of his new Esquito. It’s a GSM (65%, 30%, 5%) from their estate vineyard. I’ll post when I get it!

So we’re not doing Southern Rhone as a region, but varietals that are commonly found there, with wines from any region?

Yes and yes. Southern Rhone and it’s varieties across borders.

Brian, you have placed an unnecessary French cast on this tasting which I find deeply troubling. I hope you consider this as you work off the 10 minutes (or more) of penance that I plan to strap you with. [wink.gif]

I thought southern wine might include these

Don’t click unless you have a particularly strong stomach. I’m drinking alone tonight–Rhone-ish it is!

Ironically I already had a Sunday tasting planned with friends. Our white flight is 3 Viognier bottlings. There goes 30 minutes of your life, sorry Brian!

Alright, straight from the Southern Rhone, I give you: 2003 Dom. de la Janasse CDP “Vieilles Vignes”!

And you can have it. PNP, but perhaps more appropriately, DNPIM. Typical of many CDP from 2003, this wine has a stewed aspect and seems overripe. It also seems boozy, and I am suspicious of the claimed 14.5% abv on the label. The wine is disconcertingly sweet, and that may add to the perception of high alcohol. With some concentration, I guess I can discern a faint amount of red fruit and herbs (I am trying to be charitable here), but this is nothing like what I seek in good CDP. I hate this wine and wish I had chosen something else for the virtual tasting. I will put another note in this thread later to make up for this one.

Brian - great idea to donate time.

  • 2006 Château Saint-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/13/2013)
    On pop and pour, this had a huge nose of red fruit. Palate was light with red fruit and hot on the back end. With air, the mid palate became fuller with red fruit and bramble. Would be a better daily drinker. (89 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Friday night and HRH is on the road home from a wake. I thought I would start reconciling actual Eurocave inventory to stated Cellar Tracker inventory (THAT should ensure a great mood)
I decided to open this to help the process. I even pulled out a rarely-used Riedel Som stem in hopes that the wine would show well. What could possibly go wrong?

  • 2008 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/13/2013)
    14.5% ABV–yeah right, sure it is…
    I’m really trying to like this wine. The big punch of pepper and green herbal Garrigue flavors are wonderful, but then the alcohol intrudes. I like the wild red berry aspect but if I get stewed prunes from a 2008 CdP I am concerned. There is a little sweet tobacco in the middle but I need more acid and less alcohol to consider this balanced in any way.

Posted from CellarTracker

I have two more bottles of this and also some of the Vv. Hey, my brother really likes it when I give him CdP as a Christmas present.

  • 2004 Tardieu-Laurent Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/13/2013)
    Nearly 3 hours into this and it is really singing. Medium bricked garnet color. Aromas of strawberries, rose petals, tar and clove with a hint of brett. Medium plus bodied, strawberry cream turning to darker raspberry and tart black cherry with loads of hot cider spice. Tannins are still powerful yet fine grained, envelop the mouth and linger on and on. Has loads of life left. Really tasty.

Posted from CellarTracker

Brian, great idea… I’ll do my best to put you to work!

  • 1994 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/13/2013)
    A very pleasant surprise for a relatively unacclaimed vintage. Still some dark fruit remaining, most of this is now showing cedar, smoke, and earth. Delicious and well structured. Finish could be a little longer, but what is there is quite pleasant. This seems to be near its peak now but should last for a while yet. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

2005 Domaine Les Pallieres, Gigondas

This wine is in a great place now. Color is dark, opaque, deep. Moderate sediment so decant is good. Initial nose revealing very muted fruit that gradually blossoms into a wonderful bouquet over 1+ hours. The palate mirrors the color with a big, but pretty core of cherry and plum, spice, and soft tannin with a clean lingering finish.

A wonderfully satisfying wine that I think might still be available from Kermit’s shop in Berkeley but at a ridiculous markup, something like $95 or so. Glad I bought a case on release for around $24 per bottle. It’s also the next to last vintage before this bottling was disappointingly split into two separate cuvees. It’s my opinion that the blend is far superior.

OK, my goal is to commit you to an hour of hard labor just from dinner tonight with friends in Laguna Beach!

champagne.gif [berserker.gif]

2004 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The reviews sum it up nicely. I will however add that it did not overpower the food and was nice with dinner in contrast with some of the highest scoring blockbusters from years like 2007.
I have found several low to mid 90 point CDP wines from 2004 and 2006 to be very enjoyable to have with a simple winter meal. The 2006 Charvin is another one that I have recently enjoyed.