Browse Tag


Pascole’s law

[rectorie coume pascole]Parcé Frères “Domaine de la Rectorie” 2003 Collioure Coume Pascole (Roussillon) — Dead soy out of the gate, but with air and time it blossoms. Tannin still overwhelms (2003 effect), but the wine’s hefty enough that it’s less deformative than in cooler regions. Eventually, it’s all about smoke on sunburnt soil and shriveled, desiccated grapes. Not as “elegant” as the wines can be in the context of their appellation, but then that’s still the year. Drink now, but give it a good decant first. (8/16)

Fées Wray

Bizeul “Les Sorcières du Clos des Fées” 2008 Côtes du Roussillon (Roussillon) – A rich, pleasant wine with an almost foamy structure – I don’t think it’s fizzy, but it’s also not out of the question that there would be a touch – and layers of appealing red fruit. The whole thing is then frosted with the fetid stink and stench of brettanomyces, which is my usual experience of this wine. Alas. (7/12)


Lafage 2009 Côtes Catalanes “Cuvée Nicolas” (Roussillon) – 100% grenache. Goopier than I remember it, or perhaps I’m confusing it with a different cuvée. This expresses a lot of the sticky, bubblegummy flaws of hot-site grenache, with a heaviness that isn’t countervailed by anything. It’s not a terrible wine, but it’s a fair bit more glue-like than I prefer. (6/12)

Mers eat oats

Parcé Frères “La Rectorie” 2005 Collioure “Coté Mer” (Roussillon) – Takes a good long while to unwind from the clenched, stony fist it first presents. Charcoal-encrusted warmth with layers of tannin (still dense, perhaps just a touch overcooked) dominate even after many hours of air. What fruit there is seems ultra-concentrated but exceedingly difficult to reach. A black-hearted wine that, normally, I’d say is going through a closed period. But I’ve reason to suspect the provenance of this particular bottle, and so I’m wary of drawing too many conclusions. (2/12)

Foulard me once, shame on you

Les Foulards Rouge 2010 Vin de Table “Octobre” (Roussillon) – Spicy, frothy acidity with sharp, boisterous red berries. There’s more to it, thankfully, with earthier and more herbal…well, I was going to write “nuances,” but they’re more like microbursts. Nothing’s quiet in this wine. Fun, if simple. (3/11)

Fées Wray

Bizeul “Domaine du Clos des Fées” 2008 Côtes du Roussillon “Les Sorcières” (Roussillon) – Flavorful, but with odd helixes and skews to its geometry. Red fruit mixed with earth, herbs tossed with grains, light but with a low subwoofer hum. There are a lot of tasty elements, but they never quite coalesce. It’s good, but only just. (3/11)


Domaine de la Tour Vieille Banyuls “Vin de Meditation” (Roussillon) – Rancio, plum, and caramel. The first sip is enticing, the second tiresome…and that, unfortunately, is too often my reaction to this house’s various takes on Banyuls. So drink it in single-shot quantities, I guess. (11/10)

Hi, Bill

Chapoutier 2008 Côtes du Roussillon Villages “Les Vignes de Bila-Haut” (Roussillon) – Boring, paint-by-numbers wine. Utterly without soul. Dark fruit, chewy structure, blocked-off and dull-witted. There’s not a flaw to be found, but you’ll fall asleep before the end of the first glass. (7/10)

Crystal logic

Lafage 2008 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes “côté EST” (Roussillon) – 50% grenache (blanc I assume, though the label doesn’t specify), 30% chardonnay, 20% marsanne. Usually a reliable bargain wine, but performing very awkwardly from this bottle, showing pointed elbows of alcohol and jittery melon with sun-drenched lemons. Finishes white peppery. (5/10)

Go to the Mât

Dr. Parcé “Domaine du Mas Blanc” 2006 Banyuls “Le Mât Blanc Fruité” (Roussillon) – Despite the name, this is red. Raspberry-sauced chocolate, full and (as promised) fruity, with only the minor interference of oxidation. However, the concentration on fruit brings out some of the grenache-y bubblegum aromas, which (for me) detract from the unique qualities of Banyuls. It’s Banyuls with training wheels, and good in that idiom, but I think I prefer something a little more authentic. (7/09)