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  • Writer's pictureToronto Vintners Club

Reds of S. France - Results, Mar. '16

On March 22nd, 2016 we explored an interesting and eclectic mix of red grape varietals that dominate the lesser known vineyards in Southern France. While these were bold wines, the winemakers’ restraints shone through to ensure a well- balanced profile suitable for a wide range of accompanying food. Our guest speaker was Alan Marginean from the Profile Wine Group, which represents one of the wines we poured - 2012 Les Vins de Vienne Saint Joseph Les Archevêques $47. Alan kindly brought another St. Joseph to share with the group after the tasting:2011 Les Vins de Vienne L'Arzelle Saint-Joseph 2011 $37.95

And as you can see from the results, high price wasn't correlated with which wines the group and guest speaker preferred! The $35 wine was liked more than the two priciest wines in the line-up. In fact, the most expensive wine was ranked 8th (group) and 7th (speaker).

Club Members Laurel Simmons and Daniel St. John brought along a 2011 Domaine de la Tour Bandol which Wine Spectator scored 92/100. It’s one of the wineries on the itinerary of a wine tour which they operate in South France. The name of their company is Wine Behind The Scenes. “Take a wine Detour instead of a wine tour." Alan Marginean and Profile Wine Group represent one of the wines we poured.



2012 Chateau Pesquie - Artemia, AOC Ventoux $47 50 % Syrah & 50 % Grenache. Showing more Grenache character (this cuvee is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah), the 2012 Ventoux Artemia has awesome black raspberry, garrigue, sweet spice and creamy licorice aromas and flavors all soaring from the glass. Hard to resist, it’s medium to full-bodied, voluptuous and downright sexy on the palate, with polished tannin, beautiful mid-palate depth and no shortage of length through the finish. It’s a thrilling wine to enjoy over the coming 5-6 years, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see it evolve for longer. Drink: 2014 – 2020. #216 (Part 2), Jan 2015. Jeb Dunnuck 93/100

2009 Thunevin-Calvet - Hugo. Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Languedoc-Roussillon, France $59 50% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. “Even more impressive, the 2009 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Hugo is rock star stuffit delivers deep, rich and layered aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, raspberry, chocolate and toasted bread to go with a full-bodied, mouth-filling profile on the palate. While it's a big, textured effort, it has sound underlying structure, ripe tannin, and serious length. It's gorgeous and should evolve gracefully for over a decade. Score - 94. (Jeb Dunnuck,, April 2014)

2012 Les Vins de Vienne Saint Joseph Les Archevêques $47 “100% Syrah aged 16 months in 40% new oak, it will drink well on release and over the following 7-8 years. The red, and a serious looking barrel sample, the 2012 Saint Joseph Les Archeveques exhibits fantastic black raspberry, plum, graphite, licorice and raw earth to go with a medium-bodied, nicely textured, yet decidedly elegant and fresh feel in the mouth.” Wine Advocate #210, Dec 2013, Jeb Dunnuck, 89-91. Drink: 2013 – 2021

2011 Michel Gassier, Lou Coucardié Rouge $35 48% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache and 22% Syrah. "The richest and most concentrated cuvee, the 2011 Costieres De Nimes Lou Coucardie, which was bottled earlier in the year, offers up aromas and flavors of ripe black fruits, chocolate, graphite, licorice and hints of smoked herbs. A blend that spent 12-18 months in French oak, it is a serious, layered and textured effort that was hard to spit. While hard to resist now, it should have a broad drink window as well." The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker 93/100.

2004 Domaine Léon Barral - Faugères Jadis Languedoc Roussillon $49 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache. Jadis is the top level wine from Leon Barral. “Lots of fresh plowed earth on the note with aromas of dried meats, leather saddle and a host of dried flowers and herbs a much bigger version of the 1st wine with a good amount of plum and sundried cherry berry fruit. An explosion of flavors on the palate with a lot of that perfumed flowers and herbs on the tongue with a nice savory finish lots of red berry fruit a wine that finishes with lots of complexity without being heavy, smooth tannins on the finish make this an excellent choice to drink tonight.“

2006 Ch. Boucassé Vieilles Vignes Madiran $36 “65% Tannat, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc yielding 45 hl/ha. Malo is done in barrel and the wine is bottled without filtration. An elegant expression of Madiran offering more body and depth than many Bordeaux at prices that reach well above the modest price for this wine. Fragrant with blackcurrants plum and spice. Wonderfully fresh on the palate with remarkably refined tannins. Offers great drinking pleasure now.“ 95/100 John Moon,

2001 Domaine de Trevallon AOC VDP des Bouches de Rhone $95 50% Syrah, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. “This still has an impressively deep colour at 12 years old. Little fade. There is a big wafting nose full of dense fruit. The palate is full of sweet cassis with spice and roasted meat. This is complex, rich and earthy and lovely to drink now. For me the Cabernet comes through a bit more than the Syrah in this vintage but Trevallon is a wine that can taste of Bordeaux, Rhone, Burgundy and Barolo from bottle to bottle (often in the same vintage).“ 18/20 points., 2013-07-15

2003 Domaine de Trevallon AOC VDP des Bouches de Rhone $99 50% Syrah, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. “The wine is aged for two years in small oak barrels. The 2003 Trevallon is a deep wine, reflecting the warmth and generous fruit of the vintage. However, this grand red deserves at least 5 years in the cellar due to it's powerful framework.

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