The 2016 Faugères fete
The second Sunday in July felt like one of hottest days of the year, especially if you have just arrived from London, and so conditions were really not ideal for tasting wine at the Faugères fete. None the less it was a cheerful, animated occasion, with numerous wine growers - mostly the usual suspects, but including the four newest producers of the appellation - manning barrels and pouring their latest vintages. Given the ambient temperature, I concentrated on whites and rosés, and what follows are some highlights. Tasting notes are inevitably pretty cursory in such challenging conditions, so what follows are not much more than bullet points.
Domaine des Trinités rosé was firm and dry with ripe fruit and rounded body - a food rosé rather than an apéro. And Simon's 2015 L'Etranger was deliciously redolent of fresh cherry fruit, with some balancing acidity, making it a perfect summer red.
Tasting with Françoise Ollier, I can confirm that the 2015 Allegro is beginning to drink well and will be even more satisfying in a few more months. There is some ripe leafy fruit that is beginning to develop nicely. 2014 les Collines was ripe and gourmand, while 2013 Grande Réserve was rounded and perfumed, with a firm streak of tannin, and eminently satisfying. And Domaine Ollier Tailefer reached a milestone this year, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their very first bottling in 1976.
Oliver and Adele have a new red wine in the range of Mas Lou, Jalke from 80% Cinsaut along with some Grenache Noir and Carignan, using a plot of old Cinsaut vines, at 320 metres altitude. The wine was perfumed and fresh, with a peppery streak. They only made 600 bottles, so it is quite expensive at 14.00
Jerome Vialla of Domaine de l'Epidaure was pouring his 2015 Carignan blanc. Unusually this is a pure Carignan, and it is very dry and very mineral, with firm acidity, for 7.00. His rosé is fresh and dry and nicely rounded, from a blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Cinsaut with some appealing cherry fruit on the finish.
Jerome Py at Domaine du Causse Noir makes quite a sturdy rosé, from Mourvèdre and Grenache Noir. It is definitely a food rosé, with some structure.
And Nicolas Maury of Mas Nicolas has bottled some of his 2015 rosé in magnums. I do like a magnum. This is a blend of Cinsaut and Syrah, with some fresh acidity and good fruit. And the delicate pale pink colour makes it look so appealing in the glass. Nicolas's entry level red is a blend of Syrah and Carignan with some Grenache and a touch of Mourvèdre, and it is ripe and rounded with some spice. 8.50 Le Coing Secret with 8 months oak ageing is rather more serious with a firm streak of tannin- 14.50.
Château Chenaie's white Conviction was nicely rounded with some ripe peachy fruit, and the Conviction rosé for 6.00 was quite firm and fragrant. And I finished with the 2015 rosé from Domaine du Méteore, with some delicate fresh fruit. And then the swimming pool called..........
And a word of explanation for my silence over the past three weeks or so. We were burgled and needless to say les salauds, which spellcheck would like to render as salads! took my elderly computer and our live box, as well as quite a few bottles of wine, so communications with the outside world have been somewhat challenging. Hopefully things are now getting back to normal. ........
Jérome Py is one of my favourite vignerons as a person as well as for his wines which are a real reflection of him.
And I do agree about Jerome. Have you noticed how winemakers resemble their wine.