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Cairn d’Eole “Causse Marines” 2010 Gaillac “Peyrouzelles” (Southwest France) – A little bit bretty at uncorking, though this is eventually surpassed by other elements, and a touch spritzy/prickly throughout. Otherwise, it’s all vivacious berries and freshly-crushed petals, with the zing of bright acidity and a hint of pleasant volatility (yes, I – Mr. Oversensitive-to-VA – just wrote that). I can’t imagine this could be held, but why wait? (3/12)

All-over Autan

Vin d’Autan de Robert Plageoles & Fils 2001 Gaillac Doux (Southwest France) – Silkily-sweet bronzed apples and syrup-cured citrus. Extremely appealing. (11/10)

Causses guard

Cairn d’Eole “Causse Marines” 2008 Gaillac “Les Greilles” (Southwest France) – Lemon and ripe apple, but there’s more going on here than just a few fruit descriptors. It’s a kind of ineffable complexity, though, which is why my note stops where it does. There’s a sheen and a fairly deep core, but I couldn’t put a name or specific descriptor to either. Very good. (11/10)

Terrisses navidad

Cazottes “Domaine des Terrisses” 2007 Gaillac (Southwest France) – On one of the various wine fora a few weeks ago, someone asked if pyrazines were considered a flaw in Bordeaux. That the question was even asked made me a bit sad for a moment. A wine with the cabernets in it, and pyrazines are now considered a flaw? Must we eradicate beautiful greenness from every single wine on the planet, not stopping until everything tastes like low-acid zinfandel? Well, the question says a lot about Bordeaux in 2010, but for those who might experience a similar shudder, there are wines like this: not only green-edged, but expressing a fair amount of puréed Kermit at the core, as well. But not, in what is unfortunately a decreasingly popular sense, underripe. Just…you know, green, and all the better for it. The tannins are a little scrappy and edgy, the acid prominent, there’s peppercorn and dark, rough, undereducated fruit, and the finish feels like it might want to start a little barroom brawl rather than drift slowly into the night. What precedes is a long-form, convoluted way of saying that I like this a lot. (11/10)

Jeff Bézios

Bézios “Domaine la Croix des Marchands” 2007 Gaillac (Southwest France) – A goofy bottle, a goofy wine. Crisp doesn’t really hit the mark here…sharp is closer…with biting fruit full of black skins, seeds, and stems. Pretty insipid, to be honest. (10/09)

Mike & family

[pictures]Rotier 2005 Gaillac “Les Gravels” (Southwest France) – This is the sort of country French wine, with structure and character, that works better in its home region than it does on the road. Still, it’s appealing enough, with a lot of leathery tannin coupled to dark, meaty fruit and the blackest soil. Like many reds from the Southwest, it pairs sweatier southern French aromas with a structure reminiscent of Bordeaux to the north, and strongly suggests that it will benefit from age. Right now, though, it’s solidly made but somewhat lacking interest past the very fact of it. (1/08)