Browse Tag



Texier 2004 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Often, I taste these synthetically-sealed wines and wish for a different closure, that I might see what a little age would bring. Here, I don’t. This tastes authentically Southern Rhônish (whether it is or not), lighter than has been Texier’s past norm, and very appealing in the now…but I don’t think any closure would have lent it much of a future. This isn’t a criticism; the wine’s so good, why wait? (7/10)

Terres it up

Terres d’Avignon “Kermit Lynch” 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Drinking very well right now, with powdered pepper and herb softness settling into a plusher blend of dried fruit and light soil than was apparent even a few months ago. When this wine is on, it’s one of the best values in the Côtes-du-Rhône, not least because it fulfills expectations so perfectly. And 2006 was definitely an “on” vintage. 2007…perhaps not so much. (4/10)

Catin the hat

Clos du Mont-Olivet 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône “Serre de Catin” (Rhône) – Approachable despite fairly hefty tannin, with all the Côtes-du-Rhône signatures in place and otherwise in balance. Finishes long and solid. It’s good as a cocktail wine, and lightens just enough with (strongly-flavored) food to support dining. I guess this is the sort of thing the vintage-hypers are referring to when they extol the top-to-bottom quality of 2007 Rhônes, but as ever the actual performances will be more complicated than that. This could age for a while, I suspect, but it’s probably a better reflection of its intentions if consumed in its exuberant youth. (1/10)

Poutet tang

[vineyard]Charvin 2004 Côtes-du-Rhône “Le Poutet” (Rhône) – Reliably solid, basic Côtes-du-Rhône aromas of underbrush, slightly desiccated red fruit, and that faded combination of earth and animal that transcends brett to become a regional signature. But this isn’t really a rote Rhône, either…instead, it’s a sensitive, very pure expression of what is always a forceful aromatic package done with delicacy and restraint. It’s still a southerly wine, with all the richness that implies by its context, but in that context it’s just a little bit lighter than air. This is the sort of wine of which one could drink rather a quantity. (12/09)

Three bridges

Terres d’Avignon “Cuvée Sélectionnée par Kermit Lynch” 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Good, classic CdR aromas of underbrush and slightly mammalian fruit. White pepper dust. Not too much of anything. In good form, but gentle and not the best of recent vintages; those in search of something a little more obviously pleasurable will want the Vin de Pays de Vaucluse. (12/09)

Terres d’Avignon “Cuvée Sélectionnée par Kermit Lynch” 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Better than the previous bottle, in that its earthen charms are more generous, and there’s a little more fruit (and “fruit”) as well. (12/09)

Terres d’Avignon “Cuvée Sélectionnée par Kermit Lynch” 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Definitely a step up in fruit intensity over the 2006. This is at the sacrifice of a bit of the earthy/meaty elements, but to the wine’s overall appeal; a lot of effort towards a brownout Provençal complexity isn’t really what’s wanted here, I think. Simpler pleasures are in order. And it’s not like it’s Lodi zin. Herbs, some animal, some dirt…still there. With more baked cherry. (12/09)

Paradis is a protected form of art

[bottle]Clos du Paradis “Domaine Viret” 1999 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Saint-Maurice “Les Colonnades” (Rhône) – Sweetish black meatfruit liqueur, in the manner of so many aged Rhônes, but thinned out and giving way to some acidity and brittleness after a decade of age. A disappointing performance, frankly. (7/09)

Clos du Paradis “Domaine Viret” 1999 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Saint-Maurice “Emergence” (Rhône) – Corked. (7/09)

Saurel soup

Saurel “Saint Damien” 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône “La Bouveau” (Rhône) – Perhaps a bit modern-styled, but if so it’s done in a very appealing fashion; dark, forceful (but not aggressive) fruit that seems a little more zinnish than usual for a CdR bursts and flows over the palate like rapids, with a dusting of black pepper and serrated rosemary. Pure fun. (6/09)

A Peyrouses is a Peyrouses

[label]Voge 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône “Les Peyrouses” (Rhône) – Cornas without all that soft, easygoing gentility. Well, OK, actually not. It’s feral and twisted, bent and almost broken, but manages to cling to black’n’blue’purple, heavily-bruised fruit around the perimeter, just hanging on as the bottom falls out of the center. Structurally angry. Sadomasochistic wine; there’s pleasure to be had, and you’ll remember it later, but there may be some consequences. (4/09)