Saturday, February 14, 2009

Domaine la Monardiere Cotes du Rhone Lou Peyrau, 2001

My last report on Lou Peyrau 2001 (December 4, 2007) said it still had room to grow. And grow it has over the past 15 months, even though it was pretty fantastic then. This property, run by Martine and Christian Vache, is one of my favorite sources of Cotes du Rhone and Vacqueyras. As far as I can tell, Domaine la Monardiere no longer makes Lou Peyrau Cotes du Rhone, choosing to focus on several bottlings of Vacqueyras. The excellent Mondardiere Vin de Pays, a blend of Grenache and Syrah, is still available for about $10, but, alas, it is no match for the Lou Peyrau CDRs produced from 1998 to 2001.

The color is a medium to deep ruby with good brilliance. From the first whiff, I know it's Valentine's Day--delicate red berries, flowers, spice. Ripe and ready. In the mouth, the red raspberries are lovely. Hints of licorice, black fruits and toffee emerge with airing, but the focus is still on the red berries. At eight years of age, this Cotes du Rhone is so fresh and fruity that you'd swear it was a 2007. Yet it still preserves some of the dry sternness that has always been part of the personality of the very good 2001 Cotes du Rhone wines. Lou Peyrau still has its share of tannin, depth and substance but it is singing a pretty tune right now. Unfortunately, it's my last bottle :(.

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