A fine fennel of fish

[vineyards]Soard “Domaine de Fenouillet” 2005 Beaumes-de-Venise “Terres Blanches” (Rhône) – Beaumes-de-Venise is the most ungenerous, unfruity, unyielding appellation in the Southern Rhône; it’s not the tannin (as in Gigondas) or the roasting (as in Rasteau), it’s the quartz-driven, completely mineralistic dominance of the fruit that renders the wines completely impenetrable to fruit-hounds. Here, it’s the essence of the wine, with a little dried-and-hard drapery of the blackest fruit, but without the proper balancing structure; as a result, it’s a little like putting rocks in one’s mouth, rather than drinking a beverage. Time might help, and this is certainly not a wine for youthful quaffing, but I just don’t know if this has a promising future. (5/08)

Leave a Reply