2007 Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux “Cuvée Floureto”
I am a big fan of this estate & their wines. It was just last week that we tasted the 2006 & here was an opportunity to try the 2007 last night. I remember tasting both of these wines at the estate—the 2007 not yet released. The 2006 was unapologetically wild & rustic right out of the gates, leaner, more structured & very tight of the 2. The 2007 was deep, brooding, ample & a looming beast. I was therefore really surprised & taken to see how it had resolved 14 years later, into such a sweet spot—much more civil without taking anything away from its innate masculinity, mojo & soul, & was now more intriguingly rustic, alluringly harmonious & more seductive with the sun baked stone base notes once again shining through. With every whiff, something new came forward—more subtle white pepper, leather (more aged & used, than young & raw), sandalwood, a hint of smoke, pheromone/musk, humus/forest floor nuances, significantly aged red fruit liqueur, cooked savory herbs, exotic spice & on & on. The mouthfeel was visceral, tempered & the wine was so mesmerizingly pleasurable. While I am sure this wine can age for much, much longer, it was such a wonderful drink now. Why wait? Amongst the growing fervor for lavishly opulent, bordering raisiny, well baked Southern Rhone Grenache based “trophy” renditions, here is one that resoundingly reminds me of those grown & traditionally crafted in the Old Days.
2000 Domaine Tempier Bandol “La Tourtine”
While this is NOT a Rhone wine, the grape mix is certainly shared by the two regions & I think therefore deserves a “voice” here, especially since they were served side by side. I have been an avid fan of this domaine’s wines for quite some time. Tempier’s is quite the romantic fairy tale entwined with a young couple’s (Lulu & Lucien Peyraud) life long love affair set in the wild countryside of Provence. Their wines are the fruition of their way of life & one easily gets caught up in their story especially when having a spit roasted leg of lamb frequently brushed with a branch of rosemary, dowsed in olive oil AND their Bandol Rouge. When we Americans got hip to it, we as usual get into determining which vintage is the more grand, noteworthy & age worthy. It’s a curious thing to say the least, as to me, each vintage shows a very different perspective on what the vineyard wants to say. Case in point, the 2000. It certainly is not one of their most highly rated vintages, again not that that is even important. For me, it’s the wine’s wonderful savoriness, earthiness, earnest, unpretentious joie de vivre which is present in spades. Yes, having this wine was pure pleasure. I didn’t have to think about anything but enjoying it & with each sip I would reminisce of seeing Lulu’s beaming smile & remembering her unbridled joy for living life.