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FORTY YEARS BETWEEN DRINKS

FEBRUARY 2017

MAS SAINT-LOUIS: 30 HECTARES OF A SINGLE VINEYARD AT CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE

I first met LOUIS GENIEST (1909-1990) in the mid-1970s. I recall a visit, perhaps with STEVEN SPURRIER, to this domaine with high iron gates down at the bottom of the road running from the fountain, on the way to the route de BÉDARRIDES.

Then the domaine disappeared off my radar, with much of the wine sold in bulk. I must have walked past it hundreds of times, but signs of life were rare. LOUIS’ son JEAN was a lawyer until his death in December 2008, and the domaine is now run with increased passion and commitment by his widow MONIQUE, a lady in her eighties, with a cellar chief called MATTHIEU FAURIE-GRÉPAN present since 2011.

The remarkable thing about this estate is that their 30 hectares, average age 40 years, are all in one extended plot in the south-east of the appellation, on the adjacent sites called CROUSROUTE and LA LIONNE, the latter close to an offshoot branch of the main RHÔNE RIVER. That is a very large single vineyard, more usually found with the big Château properties. There are three red wines, and, since 2013, one white. About 30% is sold in bulk, down from 50% in 2011.

The style from these sandy, galet stone covered soils is for perfumed wines, with a gentle take that is found in the southern sector. They unfurl gradually, and, after eight years or more, the bouquets become varied and interesting. There are still old vintages available, going back to the **** 2004 MAS SAINT-LOUIS. There are two smaller production wines, both very sound ***(*) to **** wines in 2013 and 2014. The ARPENTS DE CONTREBANDIERS RED was a most harmonious **** wine, like a feather in the wind, in 2014. This is a style that will slowly regain favour as the promoters of BIG wines at Châteauneuf lose influence. Raise your glass to that, dear reader.

Goings-on

A LINE-UP OF SALONS & TASTING EVENTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER 2017 > >

The year kicks off with what has become an extremely successful and therefore vastly crowded event, the MARCHÉ AUX VINS D’AMPUIS, featuring CÔTE-RÔTIE. After all the hoopla surrounding 2015, this will be an action-packed affair this . . . . .

A BUSY SUMMER OF EVENTS, TASTINGS, MUSIC, DANCING, FESTIVITIES > >

With music, cultural and food and wine festivals going on during the summer months, here is a selection of some that might appeal to readers if you are in the Rhône Valley during July, August or . . . . .

SPRING & EARLY SUMMER DIARY DATES FOR 2016: REACH FOR YOUR WALKING BOOTS > >

VIGNES TOQUÉES DANS LES COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES SATURDAY 28 MAY, SUNDAY 29 MAY, 2016 Another walk, this time around 7-8 km (under 5 miles) through the spread out vineyards of Costières de Nîmes in the Gard. The seventh . . . . .

More going-ons > >

Latest tasting notes

DOMAINE DU GRAPILLON D`OR - Gigondas Domaine du Grapillon d'Or 1806 red - 2015-
(vat/barrel) red robe with a Grenache-led, medium depth about it. The bouquet is well-filled, bears a good criss-cross of red and . . . .
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BERTRAND STEHELIN - Gigondas Bertrand Stehelin red - 2015- ()
(steel vat) full, dark red robe. The bouquet is sumptuous, packed with a ripe and rich fruit aroma, a soaked, almost . . . .
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DOMAINE DES BOSQUETS - Gigondas Domaine des Bosquets La Colline . . . red - 2015-
(casks) very dark colour. The bouquet is full, marked by coulis-jam blackberry airs with oak-varnish lurking. It is broad, and implies . . . .
read more > >