Saturday, January 31, 2009

Domaine du Vieux Chene Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Beatrice, 2006

This wine is delightful to drink now, but I suspect that the best is yet to come. The color is a deep ruby with warm purple tones. There is 50% Syrah in the blend, and that is showing in the dark color. The first sniff is redolent with red berries, and that is typical of the 50% Grenache. Flavors are ripe and forward, but there are substantial tannins in the background. Pepper, spice and garrigue emerge as the wine warms and airs. On the second night, the flavors are a bit tighter and harder, suggesting to me that the wine is likely to go into a closed stage before showing its true potential.

The Villages wines from Vieux Chene come from a special area of the estate with vines are organically farmed on rocky, deep clay-limestone soil. At this stage, the Cuvee Beatrice is probably no more impressive than the very good Cotes du Rhone cuvees (Haie-au-Grives and Capucines) from Vieux Chene. With a few years of age, I suspect its special qualities will emerge. The wine is now available from D&W FreshMarkets for about $14 a bottle.

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