ENTERED RECENTLY: a full Report of 2011 WHITE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE, highlighting the role of the CLAIRETTE BLANCHE this year, a variety whose quality is often underestimated.
DOMAINE VISITS: at VACQUEYRAS, the DOMAINE LE COUROULU, still a cast-iron STGT domaine, DOMAINE LA GARRIGUE, also traditional, the family BERNARD producing GIGONDAS as well. All their wines are served at their family hotel LES FLORETS, in a magnificent setting under the Dentelles de Montmirail, opened for the season in mid-March 2013. DOMAINE LA MONARDIÈRE, another of the leading names at Vacqueyras, has produced easy drinking 2011, capturing the vintage well.
At nearby GIGONDAS, visits to DOMAINE SAINT GAYAN and YVES GRAS’ DOMAINE SANTA DUC have been recorded. Both are on as good form as ever, with a finessing of style chez YVES already noted. The growing merchant range of PIERRE AMADIEU has been tasted - TAVEL and VACQUEYRAS are distinguished there.
Also at GIGONDAS, the DOMAINE LES PALLIÈRES, whose fine wines need time, and the sister estate at CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE DOMAINE DU VIEUX TÉLÉGRAPHE whose 2010 LA CRAU RED reminds me of the legendary 1978.
From CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE, LES CAILLOUX of ANDRÉ BRUNEL, and his merchant FÉRAUD-BRUNEL wines have also been reviewed – those made with LAURENCE FÉRAUD of DOMAINE DU PEGAÜ. ANDRÉ has made some very good 2011 RED CÔTES DU RHÔNE from his vineyards in the Gard and the Vaucluse.
A domaine where a split has occurred between the two sides of the family is DOMAINE DE L’ARNESQUE, producers of some CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE and largely CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES and CÔTES DU RHÔNE – see the appellation CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES. Brother JULIEN BISCARRAT has moved his vineyards to DOMAINE DE CRISTIA of BAPTISTE and DOMINIQUE GRANGEON at CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE.