Browse Tag


Julie Faury

Faury 2009 Collines Rhodaniennes (Rhône) – Congratulations to the Collines Rhodaniennes for their promotion to IGP. As for this, it’s pretty classic by-the-numbers Rhônishness, herein described as a good thing. Blackberry-ish fruit more meat-like than sweet-berried, herbs, a bit of dark brood, and a warmth that doesn’t come so much from alcohol as it does from general sun-drenchedness. A nice wine. (7/11)

Weren’t they all white?

Perrin “Château de Beaucastel” 1999 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (Rhône) – Wax and peach skins. Sun-dried flowers. Quince. Less weighty than a Zind Humbrecht with which it is paired, which says more about the ZH than it does about this wine. Very nice. (7/11)

Bos on the docks

Boiron “Bosquet des Papes” 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée Chantemerle Vieilles Vignes” (Rhône) – Salt. Mature, evening drying, with a lot of lacticity (is that even a word? it is now) and Flubber-like stretchiness to the palate. Was this woody in its youth? I don’t recall. It sure seems like it might have been, given the way it tastes now. (7/11)

Peter Falk

Domaine de Colombier 2010 Vacqueyras (Rhône) – Dusty. Tastes of cheap grenache that’s not yet ripe despite a heady miasma of alcohol. (6/11)

Good broth

Bonnefond 1999 Côte-Rôtie (Rhône) – Cooked caramel butter. Some earth and minerality, but this both tastes and feels “made,” and I don’t care for it. (5/11)

Past-tense bloom

Ogier 1999 Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes “La Rosine” Syrah (Rhône) – Sophisticated. Dust and pepper. Perfumed. From the ultra-cold cellar that is the source of so many of the older Rhônes I drink, but in this particular case I think the bottles from my warmer but more consistent cellar have shown better of late. Probably cork variation. (5/11)

White hat

Texier 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc (Rhône) – Nut oils and rocks. Fullish, as these things are, but its hold on sanity seems tenuous. I wonder if holding it this long represented an equally tenuous hold on sanity? Well, I’ve got more, so we’ll see. (5/11)

First Blaches

Michel 1999 Saint-Joseph “Le Bois des Blaches” (Rhône) – Note: a fairly recent purchase, provenance unknown. Watery and dried out, with only a suggestion of herbed jerky aroma remaining. Could this just be closed? There’s not a single textural or structural signal that it might be holding absolutely everything back. I’d be more likely, given the source, to suspect damage than I would a still-evolving wine. Better-sourced versions might well be performing in a more interesting way. (4/11)

Durban engine

Leydier “Domaine de Durban” 2005 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (Rhône) – I keep waiting for someone to show me a better example of this wine, and year after year I come back to Leyder/Durban as the pinnacle. (I’m open to counter-suggestions, though.) The key, since my very first taste, remains a vibrant foundation of quartz-like minerality. Lots of wineries can do the perfumed sweetness, the orange blossom, the fun. The rocks are something special. And I can only guess that it’s terroir or some sort of particular cellar technique, because I find the same incredibly appealing quality in the winery’s Beaumes-de-Venise red. (9/10)