Monday, November 7, 2011
COSTIERES DE NIMES NOBLE GRESS 2005, 14%, €6.90 AT VIGNERONS DES VAUVERT (14/6/11)
This is one of the darkest reds you’ll see, close to black, and the nose is soon filled with very inviting aromas of dark fruit. The palate reflects the generosity of the Grenache (15%) and the elegance of the Syrah (80%), a match, that also includes a little Mourvèdre, well made by the winemakers in Vauvert, a small town on the edge of the Camargue and south east of the ancients city of Nimes. The vines, according to the back label, are also pretty old.
Liked this after a tasting in the co-op outlet in Vauvert during a tour of the southern part of the appellation and I still like it. Indeed, I’m a little sad as this is the last bottle (No. 545) from that particular trip. By the way, 545 is the number of the bottle, not the number of bottles I brought back!
It is a really smooth costumer, full of flavour, spice enough and, thanks to the work of the now modest tannins, really well balanced. Quite a few stores sell Costières des Nimes in Ireland but not this wine as far as I know. But do keep an eye out for it if you find yourself in the Languedoc.
As regards the wine’s name this is about the best explanation I found: “The NOBLE GRESS comes from the best vineyards, working on plots recognized long ago by our former Noble as the quality of their grapes.”
Sunday, October 30, 2011
PICPOUL HEAD TO HEAD
Domaine Reine Juliette, Terres Rouges, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc 2010, 13.5%, €12.00 Bubble Brothers, 3 stars
Colour is of light honey and it has a moderately aromatic nose. Not a major impression on the palate but quite a friendly one, more of a purr, less of a bark. It has a nice lively acidity with thirst quenching fruit.
While the acidity is sharp it never gets anywhere the point where you feel you might as well be sipping a Citron Pressé. If you want something to go with your mussels or oysters (and there are a lot of months with “r” coming up) this is a banker.
Les Costières de Pomerols, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc 2010, 12.5%, €7.00 Tesco, 4 stars.
Colour and nose is much the same as the previous Picpoul. The acidity is still there but this is definitely more flavoursome, more rounded.
There will always, it seems, be arguments about Tesco’s pricing policy in the drinks department but nor argument that their buyers have come up with a good one here, underlined by the fact that Decanter gave it their Regional Trophy (Languedoc –Roussillon) for a white at under ten UK pounds.
A – Closure is artificial cork on Bubble’s, screw-cap on the Tesco.
B- Alcohol is 13.5% in Bubble, 12.5% in the Tesco bottle.
C- The Tesco price is €7.00, Bubbles €12.00
Monday, September 26, 2011
Domaine Bourdic Octandre 2009, VdP Cotes de Thongue, Organic, 13.5%, €9.27 Karwig.
Christa Vogel and Hans Hürlimann came to the Midi as musicians, “and then rediscovered ourselves as wine makers. In this wonderful region of France, .., we aim to make wines that are wholly typical of the south, with a subtle character and an incomparable taste. Come and meet us ... and taste our wines.”
This Languedoc vineyard grows eight different kinds of grape and our musical duo decided to put them all together in the Octandre: Cinsault 39%, Cabernet Sauvignon 24%, Grenache 15%, Syrah 9%, Tempranillo 6%, Vermentino 4%, Roussanne 2% and merlot (1%).
Have they come up with a symphony or a cacophony? Opinions were mixed here, one of us leaning towards a little less than average, the other (liking the fact there is little or no spice notes) towards the other side.
Colour is a fairly deep red with a good nose of dark fruits, especially plum. The ripe tannins are not slow to introduce themselves on the palate and the black fruits, including blackberry, then find their way through but not in a big rush. Less full bodied than I’d expected but nicely balanced. Unusual and one you might like to try for yourself. If you do, let me know what you think.