Domaine de la Petite Cassagne 2010 Costières de Nîmes Rosé (Rhône) – Throaty pinkness, berries in the midst of their crush, and lavender-scented herbs in fine balance. Surprisingly nice. (7/12)
Collard “Chateau La Tour de Beraud” 2009 Costières de Nimes Blanc (Rhône) – Bubblegum (yes, in a Rhône white) and sweet golden raspberries. Perhaps peaches. And yet, brisker than those two fairly sticky fruit numerators. There’s gluggable appeal here, but ignore the horizon. (9/10)
Kreydenweiss 2005 Costières de Nîmes “Perrières” (Rhône) – I can’t seem to let these wines age as long as they should. Probably because, despite their youthfully brutish tannin and size, the roiling, earthy fruit is so appealing. And they’re awfully nice with meat. Or meat with a side of meat. Anyway, while the wine’s big and dark, there’s enough light and air to see right through to the core of it. In many ways, these southern efforts from Kreydenweiss are far easier to understand and access than his Alsatian wines. (6/10)
Cornut “Château Guiot” 2008 Costières de Nîmes (Rhône) – Purple fruit and black pepper. Lacks direction, or much of a point, other than the basic fact of it. That’s not really a criticism as much as an expression of general indifference. (8/09)
Glas “Domaine de Poulvarel” 2005 Costières de Nîmes (Rhône) – Redder-fruited than some of its neighbors tend to be, with fair acidity, yet also heftier than its fruit can quite withstand. It’s of its place, and I don’t mean to suggest that it should be lighter (or, heaven forefend, ultra-concentrated), but there’s a struggle for balance that’s not resolved within the wine’s confines. (7/09)
Kreydenweiss 2005 Costières de Nîmes “Perrières” (Rhône) – Starting to lighten, which either indicates a coming closed stage or ongoing maturation; this wine hasn’t existed long enough for me to be sure. The fruit is dark and chewy nonetheless, there’s good structure that’s of a more brittle nature than is common from the region, and while the temptation is to attribute this to the sensibilities of an Alsatian winemaker, the reality is that it just may be a function of this particular site. Anyway, there would seem to be promise here, but with the right animal flesh it’s pretty tasty now…just don’t expect any complexity as of yet. (7/09)
Mas Saint Joseph 2006 Costières de Nîmes Rosé (Rhône) – Baked orange and…is that caramel? Tastes heat-damaged. (2/09)
Cornut “Château Guiot” 2007 Costières de Nimes Rosé (Rhône) – Strawberry and gravel. Interesting. But not that interesting. I could drink a lot of this, but I’d end up really bored. (9/08)
Kreydenweiss 2005 Costières de Nîmes “Perrières” (Rhône) – Carignan, grenache, syrah. Very structured, but with dark Provençal aromatics peeking around corners and steaming though seams. This carries a high-minded poise not entirely typical for its region, which I would guess is the influence of the Alsatian winemaker, but it’s hefty enough to fit in amongst its peers. It just speaks with a little more precise diction. (7/08)
30 March 2006 – Andlau, France
Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss – One of the major proponents of biodynamism in Alsace, Kreydenweiss doesn’t get the press or acclaim of some of his fellow practitioners. But he is an evangelist, constantly pushing the soil-revelatory aspects of his agricultural practices, and any visitor to their tasting room will receive at least a short lecture (including rocky props) on the soil types of the Andlau-area vineyards, which are myriad.
We’re received at the door by Marc, but it’s his son Antoine that conducts our tasting. In retrospect, I wonder if there might not be a reason.
(Continued with photos, an in-depth tasting at Kreydenweiss, and a rather remarkable lunch, here.)