Browse Tag


Pascole’s law

[rectorie coume pascole]Parcé Frères “Domaine de la Rectorie” 2003 Collioure Coume Pascole (Roussillon) — Dead soy out of the gate, but with air and time it blossoms. Tannin still overwhelms (2003 effect), but the wine’s hefty enough that it’s less deformative than in cooler regions. Eventually, it’s all about smoke on sunburnt soil and shriveled, desiccated grapes. Not as “elegant” as the wines can be in the context of their appellation, but then that’s still the year. Drink now, but give it a good decant first. (8/16)

Mers eat oats

Parcé Frères “La Rectorie” 2005 Collioure “Coté Mer” (Roussillon) – Takes a good long while to unwind from the clenched, stony fist it first presents. Charcoal-encrusted warmth with layers of tannin (still dense, perhaps just a touch overcooked) dominate even after many hours of air. What fruit there is seems ultra-concentrated but exceedingly difficult to reach. A black-hearted wine that, normally, I’d say is going through a closed period. But I’ve reason to suspect the provenance of this particular bottle, and so I’m wary of drawing too many conclusions. (2/12)

Abbey road

[collioure café]A confusing study in contrasts, this well-known village is as compelling as it is baffling. Descending from the hills towards the blue expanse of the Mediterranean, one winds through pristine suburbs, then surprisingly rough commercial streets, before entering a tangled, touristy epicenter. The first section looks like any moneyed rural French suburb, the second like many a coastal town, but the third is an absolute riot of color and non-perpendicularity that seems like it would be better-placed in the Caribbean. And for such a tourist destination, signage and parking are a disaster.

…continued here.

Lapin Argile

[press]Parcé Frères “Domaine de la Rectorie” 2005 Collioure Blanc “l’Argile” (Roussillon) – Stone fruit, baked nuts with their oils, and whitish-grey earth, with good acidity and a very pleasant hint of oxidation, though in comparison to many wines of the region it’s actually quite fresh. Delicious and deft. (10/06)

Mer, sea, mer, sea, me

[glass]Parcé Frères “La Rectorie” 2006 Collioure Rosé “Coté Mer” (Roussillon) – Comes on light, then explodes with dense cherry flavor…one that comes right up to the edge of candied over-concentration, but doesn’t cross that crucial line. This is a rosé that can function as a light red wine, but it’s also got lovely transparency around the perimeter. (12/07)

TN: The Collioure of money

[vineyard]Parcé Frères “Domaine de La Rectorie” 2005 Collioure Rosé “La Goudie” (Roussillon) – This shows the sea-lashed force of the sun-baked hills in a rather incredibly elegant, dancing light…like the sun sparkling off a Mediterranean shore. Intense but flawlessly restrained strawberry, white pepper and crisp leaf notes show up, but this wine is all about its beautiful, seductive bipolarity. One of the best rosés I’ve ever tasted. (6/07)

TN: Puig-headed

Campadieu “Domaine La Tour Vieille” 1999 Collioure Puig Oriol (Roussillon) – Cooked and horridly nasty. A recent purchase, so it shouldn’t be considered representative of well-stored bottles. (6/07)

TN: Serral killer

[vineyard]Gaillard/Baills “Domaine Madeloc” 2004 Collioure “Cuvée Serral” (Roussillon) – Oaky and simplistic, with well-buttered black fruit and a general lack of verve, sun-baked intensity, dried earth, or character. Why drink Collioure, if all these things are going to be missing? This tastes exactly like an internationalized syrah from the plateau above the Rhône Valley, except that it’s missing the intense fruit. Dismaying. (5/07)

TN: Goudie bag

[vineyard]Parcé Frères “Domaine de La Rectorie” 2005 Collioure Rosé “La Goudie” (Roussillon) – Cranky at uncorking, but eventually all the beautiful qualities emerge: very ripe red cherries and strawberry-infused vinegar, tarragon and lavender, a dry, stony foundation with spikes and points, and a balanced, pure finish that imposes upon the palate. This is rosé as ambitious red wine, and it works. It’s not light by any means, but rather a serious, complex transcendence of the form. (2/07)

TN: From the farm to the white house

La Vieille Ferme 2005 Côtes du Ventoux Rosé (Rhône) – Slightly candied strawberry juice and canned red cherry, both overwhelmed by sweetening alcohol. (9/06)

50% cinsault, 40% grenache, 10% syrah. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: screwcap. Importer: Vineyard Brands. Web:

Sterling 2002 Chardonnay (71% Napa County / 16% Sonoma County / 13% Mendocino County) – Sweet peach, honeydew melon and orange with a pretty, albeit confected, palate presence and lots of buttery, toasty wood. Paint-by-numbers chardonnay, and tedious before the first sip has left one’s mouth. (9/06)

Alcohol: 13.5%. Web:

Faiveley 1998 Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits “Dames Huguettes” (Burgundy) – Dead. (9/06)

French bottling. 100% pinot noir.Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Web:

Faiveley 2002 Mercurey “Domaine de la Croix Jacquelet” (Burgundy) – Corked. (9/06)

100% pinot noir. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: cork. Importer: Wilson Daniels. Web:

Goats Do Roam Wine Company 2003 “Goat-Roti” (Western Cape) – Big, obvious dried blackberry and synthetic leather with tarred wood and rosemary squeezings. It’s exceedingly heavy, but somehow manages to lack structure. There’s nothing overtly wrong with this wine, but it’s not very interesting either. (9/06)

96% shiraz, 4% viognier. Alcohol: 14.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Vineyard Brands. Web:

Trimbach 1996 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” (Alsace) – From 375. Very, very tight and sulfurous at first. With a few hours of air and aggressive swirling, the classic CFE profile of liquefied metal appears, in a razor-sharp pillar of crystalline structure. In no conceivable universe is this yet ready to drink. (9/06)

Closure: cork. Importer: Seagram. Web:

Parcé “Domaine du Mas Blanc” 1998 Collioure Clos du Moulin (Roussillon) – Rough, leathery fruit that’s been involved in some sort of long-lasting street brawl, leaving it bruised and bloodied by somehow matured by the effort. The aromatics are enticing, showing dark wet soil and fall leaves, with brief intrusions of gentler floral notes and the occasional trace of dark soy. Really nice wine, though certainly not polished to a sheen for modern tastes. (9/06)

90% mourvèdre, 10% counoise. Closure: cork. Web: