Wednesday, June 10, 2015


The final stop of my wonderful tour de France. It will be a brief one, unfortunately. At one of the caves I had a brief introduction to these Grenache based blended wines. There is a distinction between modernists and traditionalists, maybe like in Barolo. The modernists emphesize fruit flavours, maybe boldness, the traditionalists finesse and minerality. I did not learn which differences in the winemaking process drives this distinction, but I guess maceration time and oak treatment would be major factors. These were the four wines I tasted

- 2013 Domaine de Gireau: red and black cherry, simple fruit flavours (87 points).

- 2012 Domaine Pierre Usseglio: GSM, 12 months in oak, a darker wine, well structured, firm tannins (91 points).

- 2012 Domaine du Pegau: a well respected traditionalist. This Chateuneuf-du-Pape tasted of spice and leather. What a contrast to the last two wines. Tannins are strong. If you like to smoke cigars, you will like this wine (93 points).

- 2012 Domaine de la Charbonniere, Les Hautes Brusquieres: a single vineyard blend of 80% Grenache and 18% Shiraz. Complex flavours, strawberry and plum, but also marmelaide, figs and earthy components. I liked this wine but for its alcoholic finish (15.5%). This is a problem with Grenache. It needs to ripen, and then the alcohol shoots right up (94 points).

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