Friday Sips


FRIDAY SIPS
Domaine Pesquier's Rhone Wines from Bryan's visit to France
Today June 9 from 1:30 - 6:30
Most times when returning from France, we have to wait a bit for the new excitement to arrive. This week we are tasting things from what was started last year but carried over to this recent trip as well. Come by today to taste the lineup from Gigondas-based Domaine du Pesquier along with one other Rhone Rose that is going quickly!


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2014 DOMAINE DU PESQUIER
COTES-DU-RHONE
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

For the second year in a row, the visit to Domaine Pesquier was truly one of the highlights of the Southern Rhone visit to France. Now fully in charge and a virtual one man operation, Mathieu Boutiere is putting forth smashing wines from his Gigondas-based compound that reflect true essence of place.

Always a stalwart value, the Pesquier Cotes-du-Rhone comes solely from the village of Sablet’s sandy, clay-limestone soils. 56% Grenache and 14% Carignan, but it is the 30% dose of Mourvedre that gives this wine its spine and complexity. My notes from my visit to Pesquier on May 29: ‘Absolute transparency. Peat-smoke, lavender, kisses of blueberry. Spices abound with hints of tealeaf. Chewy fruit with ample charm up front with some Mourvedre muscle that arrives in mid-palate and carries to the back end. Nothing but sheer pleasure here, especially with its mouthwatering, engaging finish’. Perfect summer barbecue wine and excellent to enjoy over the next 3 years.



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2014 DOMAINE DU PESQUIER
VACQUEYRAS
$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

There is always some sort of back-story to any wine that we offer on an exclusive basis. Often times when we get excited for a new wine and wish to work with it, there seemingly is a nine-month gestation period to make it all happen. Label approval, timing, shipping, coordination with the distributor, etc. Therefore, it actually was last year’s visit to Pesquier that the idea of working with Mathieu’s Vacqueyras took form. We have always known of it and have tasted it on numerous occasions, but with only 250-400 cases produced, we always thought it impossible to feature it. Fast forward to May 2016 when Michael, Karen and I visited along with our friend Chad and tasted through the wines.

Both Michael and Karen have a real attraction to Vacqueyras and they both got excited as we did. Now as the real story goes, maybe Monsieur Michel was a bit hungover from the big tasting and lunch the day before because while tasting at another Domaine at the same hotel that we were staying, Michael excused himself from the tasting about 11 AM stating he had to make a phone call. I did the timing and noticed that it was 2 AM in Portland and 5 AM in New York, looked at Karen and Chad and stated, ‘phone call my ass, he’s taking a nap’! Not fully sure if we were to take him seriously on the Vacqueyras given the need for a quick snooze, so when he returned to eat lunch with us, we asked him again and his enthusiasm (as well as Karen’s) was still there and hence we started the process of getting this excellent wine to our part of the country.

Having re-tasted it 2 weeks ago, now I see why I wanted to sell this! Very different from the Gigondas, the small 2-acre plot is located north of the village in the Dentelles and is a blend of 60% Grenache & 40% Syrah. My recent notes: ‘Terroir laden, distinct for vintage and one sees the portrait of the site. Fills in more and more as it opens yet has so much enchantment. Generous black and blue fruit with plenty of penetration, succulence and savory flavors. Lovely chime and persistence with some sneaky backbone behind the curtain’. Step it up with some more serious dishes or elaborate grill preparations and drink over the next 5-8 years.



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2014 DOMAINE DU PESQUIER
GIGONDAS
$25.99 BTL./$311.88 CASE

Owning just over 40 acres (33 on the classic Gigondas plateau with red clay, limestone and gravel and 7 in the Dentelles with marl covered by scree) the Gigondas is the specialty of the house at Pesquier. Not only is this a stellar value, right now I feel that this wine is top four or five in the entire appellation. 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah & 5% Mourvedre, this is classy and sassy juice with a side of complexity.

Tasting notes: ‘Pepper-pot punctuality! Enticing, telltale provencal fragrance. Spice, leather, lavender, grenadine, strawberry. Classic and clean. Quite relaxed and very detailed. Airy, floating, fine texture with a vinous attack on a cooler and lifting scale. Minerally, spice-coated fruit shine on the scrumptious finish that certainly has ample spine, structure and dimension. Love both the CDR and Vacqueyras but one sees why this wine is the real big dog a chez Boutiere. Very rousing indeed’! Not inaccessible at the moment, it will also drink well, and develop over the next decade.



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2016 DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD ROSE
'BIOTIFUL FOX'
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

From famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer Domaine de Beaurenard comes a new, value-oriented dry pink wine from the Vaucluse region of Provence. Biotiful Fox is a play on words as Beaurenard means beautiful fox and les freres Coulon farm using Biodynamic principles.

Made with mostly Grenache along with Syrah and Mourvedre, this is a Provence Rose that you should be throwing back numerous bottles on a regular basis before it sells out. Alluring all of the senses and aromatically gorgeous with fragrant hawthorn, subtle strawberry, fine herbs and smoke, this playful and subtle Provencal pink wine shows debonair characteristics of underlying mineral and red fruit. Then POW!, it plugs in the jolting electrodes on the finish with its brisk and gushing qualities adding to a superb, lengthy finish. Try a fun, slightly spicy marinade on ahi tuna or chicken, toss it on the grill and uncork many bottles, you will not be sorry!






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