Monday, October 29, 2012

Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint Martin Cuvee Prestige, 1998

As Chateauneuf du Pape prices have escalated, I find myself looking more and more toward Cairanne as a source of fine Southern Rhone wines. Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint Martin is my favorite Cairanne, and every time I have tasted this wine alongside a Chateauneuf du Pape I have preferred the wine from the lesser appellation.

Bright crimson./ Gamey old vine quality that reminds me a lot of the Clos Mont Olivet I had two nights ago. But may be even better. Red cherries, cinnamon, Provencal spices. Deep and concentrated, as always. Now some red licorice. Silky smooth on the palate.

The price tag reads $12.99, but the current vintage of the Cuvee Prestige usually sells for $28 to $30. For a wine of this quality, made traditionally from vineyards more than 100 years old, that's still a bargain. The Reserve des Seigneurs bottling, which I buy more frequently today, sells for $18 to $20. Coming from vineyards 50 years of age and older, it is very good but lacks the special qualities of the Cuvee Prestige.

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