Browse Tag


Var, matey

Triennes 2009 Vin de Pays du Var Rosé (Provence) – Pink melon and grapefruit, soft and plushy, with tarragon and something else herbal that I can’t put a papilla on. Balanced. Some lead sinkers appear amidst the finish. Just OK. (7/10)

Under my Peyrassol, assol, assol, eh, eh, eh…

La Croix Peyrassol 2007 Vin de Pays de Méditerranée (Provence) – Aromatic and structured, weaving through an arboreal maze of leaves, barks, underbrush, and dried petals, then rounded with dark black fruit. Despite strength, it’s not an aggressive or heavy wine, and is as nice without food as it is with. Balanced, albeit a little short, and so despite the quality I think this is a relative short-termer. (2/10)

Rolland in dough

Mme. Rolland “Mas Sainte Berthe” 2006 Les Baux de Provence “Passe-Rose” (Provence) – Potpourri (as stenchy as it is pretty), tangerine, greengage plum. Burns more than it pleases. The more Provençal rosé I have, the more I wish I was drinking pink from elsewhere. The alcohol is just too much, too often. (9/09)

Peyraud tax

[vineyard]Peyraud “Domaine Tempier” 1994 Bandol “Cuvée Spéciale la Tourtine” (Provence) – Bretty, for sure, plus the usual mourvèdre horse of a different earth. Very aromatic, which seems to go hand-in-hand with those qualities in these wines. Dark dried fruit (or perhaps dried dark fruit) and a lovely graphite texture that really emerges on the finish. Tastes fully mature, but these wines seem to hang on a lot longer than one expects once they reach this stage. (4/09)


Villeneuve “Château de Roquefort” 2003 Côtes de Provence “Les Mûres” (Provence) – Rough strawberry, mixed cherries, and earth. Very, very, very concentrated, with ripeness and intensity to spare, plus a sharp, scraping acidity (how’d they get that in 2003? never mind, I don’t want to know) that cleans up after the wine’s gone home for the day. Striking. Good? Maybe. (4/06)

Bouches & bulles

Trévallon 1996 Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône (Provence) – Wow, is this drinking well. Still structured, but in a loose-fitting way, letting the complex and somewhat mature fruit revel in its newfound freedom. Dark, chewy, but full of space and transparency through which shows the ultraviolet glow of an ancient soil. A bit of meat thrown to the lions. And confidence. Lots and lots of confidence. (5/08)


Rougier “Château Simone” 1998 Palette (Provence) – 375 ml. As usual, lovers of the freshest, fruitiest wines would think this was about a century older than it is. I love it. It’s like drinking an Egyptian ruin, sand-etched and with a few of the features permanently lost to time, but yet wholly recognizable in form and function. (5/08)

Peyraud tax

[vineyard]Peyraud “Domaine Tempier” 1995 Bandol (Provence) – Probably à point, and while it’s a beautiful old civet of herbs, meat, and earth, there’s a muted aspect to a finish that could be a little more expressive. It’s damned tasty, though. Drink sooner than soon. (5/08)

I Fontanieu drug

Bronzo “La Bastide Blanche” 1993 Bandol “Cuvée Fontanieu” (Provence) – Band-aid and a swirling chorus of well-hung meat, meat juice, meat residue, and a dry brush of herbs. There’s still some structure, and it grows in the telling, but I’m not sure I’d hold this one any longer; the structure shed might not be replaced by anything good. (4/08)