Tavel and Chateauneuf du Pape

9-10 May 2012, Tavel and Chateauneuf du Pape, France

On our way to tastings

Diane and I recently spent one and a half days tasting wines in Southern Rhone. Along with our tour guide, Francois who runs Avignon Wine Tours, we spent half a day in Tavel and a full day in CdP. Francois was great and we both highly recommend his wine tour if you plan on visiting the region. Don’t have pictures of all the bottles but tasting notes below:

Tavel

Les Vignerons de Tavel

1. * 2010 Les Vignerons de Tavel, Cuvee Tableau

  • Salmon rose, heavier, medium body, sandy soil
  • Very dry – 14% alcohol; apricot and melon
  • € 7.50

2. * 2011 Les Vignerons de Tavel, Les Lauzeraies

  • Pink rose, smoother than the Cuvee Tableau, limestone soil
  • 13.5% alcohol; red fruit, flower
  • € 7.20

3. * 2011 Les Vignerons, Cuvee Royale

  • Pink, strong colored rose, cobblestone soil
  • 14% alcohol with a longer finish; raspberry aroma, white pepper with a full body, stronger flavors
  • € 7.20

Domaine de la Mordoree

4. ** 2011 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac

  • white from a blend of Grenache, Viognier, etc.
  • 14% alcohol, pale, clear lemon; palate of lemon, white pepper, citrus and fennel; medium body with medium+ finish
  • € 14.80

5. ** 2011 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Tavel

  • medium pink; sweet red floral fruit
  • 14.5% alcohol; very smooth, long finish with a medium body of strawberries; made from 40 year old vines
  • € 13.80

6. ** 2010 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Chateauneuf du Pape

  • purple, dark red berry and black currant aromas
  • 80% Grenache, 10% Mouverdre, 5% Syrah et al
  • 15% alcohol; wood and black pepper, huge tannins with an extremely long finish; from 60 year old vines and 70% of the wine is oak aged
  • € 45.00

Chateauneuf du Pape

Domaine de Cristia

1. * 2011 Domaine de Cristia Vin de Pays Grenache Rouge

  • 100% Grenache from 30 year old vines
  • 13% alcohol; simple dark fruity
  • € 5.40

2. * 2010 Domaine de Cristia Vin de Pays de Mediterranee Vieilles Vignes

  • 100% Grenache, aged in old oak and stainless steel
  • 14% alcohol, more complexity, not organic – licorice and spice from a new vineyard acquisition
  • € 6.90

3. * 2011 Domaine de Cristia Cotes du Rhone Rouge

  • 100% Grenache
  • 13.5% alcohol; no oak, tons of red fruit with good tannins and complexity/spice
  • € 7.40

4. *** 2010 Domaine de Cristia Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes

  • 15% alcohol; aged in oak for 12 months – delicious Cotes du Rhone
  • herbs, red fruit, spice on the finish with good structure and tannins
  • € 10.00

5. *** 2009 Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape

  • 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah planted in sand/clay
  • 15% alcohol; big full body, red fruit, jammy – 35-40k bottles produced annually; 18 months barrel aging
  • € 48.00

6. ** 2010 Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape

  • 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah
  • 15% alcohol; more leather and earthiness, huge body and tannins – very long finish
  • € 27.00

7. *** 2010 Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Renaissance

  • 60% Grenache (110 year old vines), 40% Mourvedre
  • 15% alcohol; 6,000 bottles annual production, all oak aged for 18 months; jammy, sweet with a smooth finish
  • € 48.00

8. *** 2010 Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

  • 100% Grenache
  • 15% alcohol; 4,000 bottles annual production, black currants and plum, huge body with a very long finish
  • € 57.00

9. ** 2011 Domaine de Cristia Collection Vin de Pays Grenache Blanc

  • 100% Grenache
  • 13% alcohol; great citrus and acidity; simple summer wine – this wine is sold under the Cristia label but is not their estate wine
  • € 5.40

10. ** 2011 Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

  • 40% Roussan, 30% Clairette and 30% Bourboulenc
  • 13.5% alcohol; more complex, citrus, rosemary, flowers
  • € 18.00

Roger Sabon

11. ** 2009 Roger Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Les Olivets

  • Blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache
  • 14.6% alcohol; dark fruit, peppers and spice on the finish with good tannins and structure

12. ** 2009 Roger Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve

  • Blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre
  • 14.5% alcohol; more notes of leather, black olives, cloves with huge structure and tannins

13. ** 2009 Roger Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige

  • Blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre et al
  • 15% alcohol; black currant, medicinal nose with a smoky, leathery and earthy finish

Domaine de Beaurenard

14. ** 2011 Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

  • Blend of Grenache, Clairette, Roussan and Bourboulenc
  • 14% alcohol; pineapple, lychee, smooth – dry with a slightly sweet finish
  • € 26.00

15. ** 2008 Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf du Pape

  • 14.5% alcohol; black pepper, smoke, black fruit
  • € 25.00

16. *** 2006 Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf du Pape Boisenard

  • jammy, full bodied
  • € 39.00

Clos Saint Michel

17. ** 2010 Clos Saint Michel Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

  • Blend of Grenache, Roussan and Clairette
  • 14% alcohol; sweet pear nose, apricot
  • € 21.00

18. *** 2009 Clos Saint Michel Chateauneuf du Pape

  • Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre
  • 14.5% alcohol; barnyard, jammy with black pepper and red fruit
  • € 21.00

19. *** 2006 Clos Saint Michel Chateauneuf du Pape

  • 80 year old vines
  • 14.5% alcohol; animal, leather, spice
  • € 35.00

Diane and I with our tour guide, Francois

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Wooj’s 31st Birthday Dinner at Jungsik

23 March 2012, Jungsik, Tribeca

Wooj’s birthday this year landed on a Friday so he was able to take escape from his atrocious banking hours and celebrate. We went to a new restaurant in Tribeca called Jungsik – it’s a formal, high-end Korean restaurant where they use traditional Korean flavors and ingredients with a French-style preparation. Instead of doing the prescribed wine-pairing, we picked our own bottles.

For the various amuse courses, we started with a N.V. Rene Geoffroy Brut Rose de Saignee from a magnum:

N.V. Rene Geoffroy Brut Rose de Saignee (magnum)

100% Pinot Noir with no malolactic fermentation, this wine had great acidity and minerality that cut through kimchi purees that accompanied the various fried meats and vegetables.

For our next courses which included noodles and a miyuk-gook risotto, we had a 2010 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Quarzit:

2010 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Quarzit

The Riesling had a citrus aroma but on the palate you could taste a combination of lime and sweetness (stone-fruit). A tart, medium finish – easy drinking Riesling and pairs well with food.

The next set of meat courses started with a 2008 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce:

2008 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce

From one of the oldest winemakers in Napa (1978), this was a good, not great, classic California Pinot Noir. Aroma of red fruit, berries and spice, it had a smooth mid palate and medium finish. Good acidity although less tannins than I would’ve expected for still a relatively young wine.

For our final savory course, braised short-ribs and samgyeopsal, paired extremely well with our last wine of the night, a 2008 Domaine de Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier from a magnum:

2008 Domaine de Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier (magnum)

This blend of 81.2% Grenache, 15% Cinsault and 3.8% Syrah was aged in cement tanks and large oak barrels. The dark ruby color led to a powerful nose of spice and berries. The palate attacked with fruit, acidity and licorice – great wine and would’ve paired well with any fatty, red meat.

The wine service at the restaurant was excellent – glassware was perfect and they stayed up to speed with each course.

*** N.V. Rene Geoffroy Brut Rose de Saignee (magnum), $160

** 2010 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Quarzit, $25

** 2008 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce, $35

*** 2008 Domaine de Saint Prefert Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier (magnum), $100