WTN: A QPR wine tasting

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WTN: A QPR wine tasting

Postby Tim York » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:58 am

Espace Vin Pirard is proud of its QPR wines – “Grands Vins, Petits Prix”. In their Spring tasting this year the most expensive on show cost €22 (rounded to the nearest Euro). I could claim that practically all the wines which I tasted, with one notable exception and a couple or so borderline cases, represented fair value, so I have invented two new categories QPR and QPR!! to highlight very good and outstanding QPR respectively. So this tasting was definitely a QPR success although I tasted no really outstanding wines. (Outstanding bottles mostly lie with this merchant in his offerings from some more prestigious but non-QPR producers, particularly from Burgundy, e.g. Rousseau, Gouges, Pousse d’Or, J-M Boillot, Pierre Morey. Such wines are much less often on show and there were none last Saturday.)

Red wine stand (no vignerons present)
Château Haut Guillebot – Bordeaux – 2006 – (€6), Merlot dominated blend, showed aromas of nice meaty and tangy plum and a fruity supple palate with enough grip for balance; 15.5/20 ++ QPR!!; a good start to the show.
Malbec Altas Cumbres 2007 - Argentine – (€7) was marked by wood, but it was of a fine cedary type, and showed good fruit, marked acidity and strong grip; could become good if the oak integrates; 14/20 now.
Château Les Tours Seguy Côtes de Bourg 2007 – (€8) managed to redeem the usual thinness of the vintage with some nice tangy fruit; 14/20.
Saumur-Champigny 2006 – Domaine des Roches Neuves – (€8) showed aromas of ripe plum veering towards prune combined with minerals and an attractive freshness; 15.5/20 QPR.
Chiroubles 2007 – Domaine Marrans (€10) was much better than the Duboeuf which I noted the other day; still more thin than in many years but showing attractive fruit and minerality with some Chiroubles charm; 15/20+.
Château Roquetaillade-la-Grange – Graves - 2006 (€12); a true horror dominated by caramelised and coconut oak with some pretty fruit hiding in the background; the salesman confessed that some American oak had been used so this must be the intended effect; 11/20.
Château Pavillon Bel-Air – Lalande-de-Pomerol – 2006 (€16) showed some impressively round fruit with good grip and some wood tannins in the course of integration; 15/20 with + potential.

White wine stand (no vignerons present)
Costières de Nîmes 2008 – Pirard’s own bottling – (€5), made from Grenache blanc, showed floral aromas and an attractive freshness; 15/20 QPR.
Torrontes 2008 – Domaine Borbore, Argentine – (€6) showed some mismatch between nose and palate; the former was spicy and floral and the latter attractively mineral and lively acidity; very nice though; 15.5/20 QPR!!
Château Jolys Jurançon sec 2006 – (€8) showed aromas of tangy grapefruit and a touch of honey with good “gras”, minerality and freshness on the palate; 15.5/20 QPR.
Schloss Böckelheimer Riesling – Nahe – 2007 – (€9) was somewhat honeyed with some RS on the palate offset by some fair acidity; easy drinking but a touch bland; 14.5/20.
Würzburger Stein Riesling 2007 – Staatlicher Hofkeller, Franken – (€10) was much better; fresh, mineral and floral and mouth-wateringly crisp acidity; 15.5/20++ QPR.

Fattoria Corzano e Paterno, Tuscany http://www.corzanoepaterno.it/home.php
This estate was represented by a family member, a very attractive and charming young lady.
Il Corzanello bianco 2008 (€9), Chardonnay 50% plus Sémillon and Sauvignon, showed burnished aromas (Chard) combined with some zippy and tangy acidity with grapefruit bitter finish (SB); it worked; 15/20.
Chianti Terre di Corzano 2006 (€12) had some very nice fruit, plum veering to prune, with quite full body and chocolate touches but was a bit short of the mouth-watering acid tang which I look for in Chianti; nice wine, though, but I prefer Colli Senesi Farnetella (€9) for my standard Chianti fix; 15.5/20.
Chianti Riserva “I Tre Borri” 2005 (€22) sees 30% new wood and this was apparent in the background to the dense fruit. The palate was notably deeper and more complex and tannic than the previous needing more time; an impressive result for an often soft and somewhat dilute vintage; 16/20 when the oak integrates.

Martúe, Tierra de Castilla, near Toledo, Spain http://www.martue.com/martue_english/index.html
Another attractive and charming lady presenter here. This seems to be an up and coming area; good wines also from Ercavio, which I tried the following day.
Tierra de Castilla 2006 (€11), made from Tempranillo 50% and the balance from CabSauv, Merlot and Syrah, was attractive with generous dark fruit and liquorice notes, full body, good acidity and after-taste; 15.5/20+ QPR.
Tierra de Castilla Syrah 2006 (€19) sees 12 months in new oak barrels and this was very apparent in a smooth sweet patina (but not aggressive like the Roquetaillade); the body was full and the red/dark fruit quite dense with prune touches and firm tannins were still present. I would prefer this wine with less wood influence and it probably needs some time to moderate that as well as the tannins; 15/20+ now.

Château Haut Bel Air, Bergerac
This estate is located to the west of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande nearer to Saint-Émilion than to Bergerac.
Montravel (W) 2007 (€5), made from Sauvignon 75% and Sémillon 25%, was deliciously lively and mineral with lime sweet and honeyed touches; 15.5/20+ QPR!!
Bergerac (R) 2005 (€5), made from Merlot 75% and CabFranc 25%, showed very nice meaty plum aromas, medium body and supple round fruit with a caressing mouth-feel and the right grip for balance. M. Jean-René Rey said that he was not afraid for this wine to face up to the Lalande-de-Pomerol (€16) across the room; indeed I thought it was better right now; 15.5/20++ QPR!!

Château Petit Boyer, 1ères Côtes de Blaye
Premières Côtes de Blaye (W) 2007 (€8), made from Sauvignon, showed hints of cats’ piss at first which were absorbed on swirl by tangy notes of grapefruit and gooseberry with more gras, less tension and a softer mouth-feel than found in Sancerre; 15.5/20 QPR.
Premières Côtes de Blaye (R) 2007 (€8), made from Merlot and CabSauv, showed aromas of pruney plum, meat and leather, medium/full body and surprisingly round and smooth fruit for a difficult year with good grip; 15.5/20 QPR.

Domaine du Mairon - VdP d’Oc - Cabernet franc 2007 (€6) was quite different from Loire CabFranc with its spice, prune and even liquorice touches and generous sweet fruit; just a hint of bell pepper showed that it belonged to the same family; 15/20+ QPR.

Abbaye de Valmange, Languedoc http://www.wineterroirs.com/2005/02/abb ... valma.html
VdP de la Moure “Le Secret de Frère Nonenque” 2008 – (€6), made from Carignan, Grenache and Morastel (?), had plum and leathery aromas and soft, supple fruit with enough grip; 15/20++ QPR.
Coteaux du Languedoc 2007 – (€7), made from Syrah and Mourvèdre, showed floral notes and brighter fruit also with leathery touches and palate was quite full and suave on entry and mid palate with a plenty of grip on the finish; 15.5/20 QPR
Coteaux du Languedoc “Cuvée de Turenne” 2005 – (€11), had boiled sweet and liquorice notes in its aromas with herds coming out on the quite deep and long palate; 15.5/20++.

Mas du Fadan, Côtes du Ventoux
There was a long conversation in progress when I arrived at this table between the clearly dedicated vigneron and a persistent and rather boring customer on the differences between organic (which this estate claims) and natural (which it doesn’t) viticulture and winemaking. I could hardly get a word in edge-ways (rare for me) and the conversation was continuing after I left the table. I did however learn that there were no fining and filtering. I was struck here by the purity of the flavours.
Cuvée Rose (pink) 2008 (€6), made from Grenache and Syrah, showed some boiled sweet on the nose but was mineral, fresh and fruity on the palate; 15/20 QPR.
Coteaux du Ventoux “Cuvée des Fées” 2006 - (€7), made from Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, showed well focussed and pure fruit, good freshness combined with liquorice touches and good structure; 15.5/20++ QPR.
Coteaux du Ventoux “Cuvée Anna” 2004 – (€10), made from Grenache and Carignan and seeing 2 years of ageing in used wood, still needed some time with its discreet nose, dense peppery fruit and marked structure; potentially 16/20? In two years, say, QPR?

Domaine Boudau, Roussillon http://www.domaineboudau.fr/en/accueil.html
VdP des Côtes Catalanes (rosé) “Petit Closi” 2008 – (€6) showed boiled sweet aromas with refreshingly bitter edge and sweet hint on the entry to an otherwise refreshing palate; 14.5/20.
Côtes du Roussillon Villages “Tradition” 2006 – (€9), made from Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, was round, sweetly generous and peppery; 15.5/20+ QPR.
Côtes du Roussillon Village “Henri Boudau” 2006 – (€12), made from Syrah 70% and Grenache, was more floral and deeper on the palate; 16/20 QRP.
Côtes du Roussillon Village “Cuvée Patrimoine” 2006 – (€16), made from Grenache 80% and Syrah, showed touches of orange peel in its aromas and lots of body and dense peppery fruit; should improve; 16/20.
VDN Rivesaltes sur Grains 2007 – (€11), Grenache, had a peppery and stalky, almost jammy, sweetness with firm structure which prevented cloying; 15.5/20++ QPR.
VDN Muscat de Rivesaltes 2008 – (€10) had the usual apricot and spicy Muscat aromas with a certain fresh acidity and grip which is unusual in this often bland and cloying wine type; 16/20 QPR!!

Domaine Saint-André de Figuière, Provence http://www.figuiere-provence.com/
Côtes de Provence Cuvée Magali (rosé) 2008 – (€9), made from CabSauv, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, was freshly fruity and spicy albeit rather slight; 14.5/20.
Côtes de Provence Grande Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (rosé) 2008 – (€11), made from Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault, was a much more serious wine showing floral and meaty aromatics and substance, amplitude and structure on the palate; 15.5/20+.
Côtes de Provence “Cuvée François” 2007 – (€9), CabSauv, Syrah and Grenache, showed sweetly fruity aromas on the nose but a certain austerity with structure on the palate; 15/20.
Côtes de Provence Grande Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2007 – (€13), Mourvèdre and Syrah with one year in used barrels, showed aromas of meat, spice and prunes and a full, velvety palate with fruit and structure well integrated; 16/20 with some further potential; QPR.
Tim York
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Re: WTN: A QPR wine tasting

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:53 pm

I wish I had better opportunities to explore the wines of Southern France. They seem to be a never ending fountain of QPR.

Great notes Tim. Thank you very much.
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Re: WTN: A QPR wine tasting

Postby Tim York » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:22 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I wish I had better opportunities to explore the wines of Southern France. They seem to be a never ending fountain of QPR.



There is indeed an abundant fountain of good QPR wine in Southern France :D which unfortunately co-exists with a lot of bad wine :shock: . The best values are often in quite small quantities and I find that good guidance and/or a good merchant are essential as a supplement to personal experience in order to screen out the bad and to identify good new sources. That's where people like Espace Vin Pirard come in together with a handful of others like them in Belgium and their equivalents elsewhere. The majority of the estates represented at that tasting were not previously on my radar screen.
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