Last night I attending the Kermit Lynch tasting at the Barrel Thief in Short Pump, and as the email promised, it was HUGE. Now Kermit Lynch himself was not there but 5 of his top imports were represented via the winemakers, who were there pouring their juice for us to try. For 10 bones we got to taste over 18 wines from the Rhone region, what a steal. I was not able to taste all the wines as they ran out of a few and I ran out of time, but the ones I did taste were fantastic. To accompany the tastings were some nice cheese and salami slices (didn’t try cuz of the whole vegetarian thing) and some nice baguette slices to help clean your palate in between tastes. To see what I thought and what I bought keep reading.
My Tasting Notes (in order of tasting)
Chateau de Trinquevedel
2007 Tavel $25 – A dry Rose comprised of 45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 6% Syrah, 4% Grenache Blanc, 4% Mourvedre and 2% Bourboulenc. Very full and round Rose with strawberry and salmonberry flavors and aromas that led to a stony, mineral finish. I would have bought this but they don’t actually have it in for sale yet.
Domaine Auguste Clape
St. Peray Blanc (3 vintages) – St. Peray is a small appellation in the Northern Rhone, South of Crozes-Hermitage producing white wines from Marsanne and Rousanne. The Blanc’s from Clape are 100% Marsanne with fermentation done in cement vats and aged in stainless steel.
2007 $40 – nose of honey, fuji apple with pear and honeysuckle flavors, beautiful mineral finish
2005 – nose of cooked fruit, apricot and floral notes dominated the flavor profile with a hint of spice and again a clean mineral finish
2004 – Interesting nose of sweet cheese such as baby swiss, apple, asian pear and nutty flavors – this vintage did not have the mineral finish that the others did
All the vintages were medium to full body, good fruit and moderate levels of acidity with the 2004 have lower acidity than the rest and a darker golden color (to be expected). These were very nice wines and it was awesome to taste the vertical.
Cotes du Rhone (3 vintages) – Made from 100% Syrah with whole cluster natural yeast fermentation in cement vats with 10 months ageing in large French oak casks, bottle fined and unfiltered.
2007 $45 – Blueberry and black cherry on the nose followed by raspberry eucalyptus and “dirt” on the palate, good big body with strong leathery tannins.
2006 $45 – Earthiness, blackberry and leather predominately on the nose with dark fruit and mint with a touch of green olive in the mouth – a years difference was definitely noticeable in the slight smoothing of the tannins that I would define as dusty.
2005 $45 – Barny, raspberry, cherry and slight funk on the nose with collard greens raspberry and earth rounding out the taste profile, firm tannins at the finish although extremely soft and well balanced across the mid palate. This was my favorite of the 3 and one of the wines I took home.
2005 Cornas Cuvee Renaissance $ 79– 100 % Syrah with same processing as above except for 20 months of aging in French oak casks. This wine had amazing blackberry pie and floral aromas, green bean, fig and licorice flavors. Fairly smooth tannins and full bodied structure.
2005 Cornas $119 – This wine is the exact same as above except from a different vineyard lot that is comprised of 60 year old vines. Another heavy hitter at $119, very rich with cranberry, currant, tobacco aromas that followed through to a similar taste profile with a bit of green pepper thrown in and a hint burnt rubber. HUGE TANNINS at the finish – definitely need about 10 years before this one really shows its potential.
Domaine Philippe Faury
2006 Condrieu Blanc $89 – did not try I wish I had because I love Condrieu wines.
2006 St. Joseph Blanc $39 – did not try
2006 Syrah $29 – 100 percent Syrah – strawberry and rose on the nose with mostly a pure cooked green bean flavor on the palate.
2005 St. Joseph VV $39 – 60 year old vines of 100% Syrah – Blackberry and cranberry dominated the aroma and flavor profile, with a hint of Shitake mushroom at the finish
2006 Cote Rotie $79 – 85% Syrah and 15% Viognier – Barny, earth, raspberry and floral notes. The Viognier gave the wine noticeably more viscosity and the floral aromas were very nice. I would have bought this but they didn’t have it in stock yet.
Domaine de la Charbonniere
2005 Vacqueyras $37 – 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah aged from 6-8 months in large oak tanks bottled unfiltered. Dill pickle, green olive and cassis with a earthiness and mushroom notes on the palate
2004 Chateauneuf du Pape “Mourre de Pedrix“ $49 – did not try
2005 Chateauneuf du Pape “Mourre de Pedrix“ $65 – Comprised of Grenache (69%), Syrah (15%), Mourvedre (15%) and Cinsault (1%). Aged in both oak barrels and large tanks for 12-18 months and bottled unfiltered. I got cake batter aroma on the nose as well as earth, cassis and a hint of fresh dill. On the palate I got similar flavors with green olive making another appearance and the earthiness became more evident. Magnificent body and structure, firm leathery tannins that will take quite a few years to smooth out. This was a great wine and the second bottle that I decided to purchase.
2005 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vielles Vignes” $75 – Comprised of 70% Grenache and 30 % Mourvedre. Toast, blackberry, sulfur on the nose with blackberry and tobacco flavors on the palate. Good body and firm tannins but not overly so.
2005 Chateauneuf du Pape “Les Hautes Brusquieres” $75 – (did not try)
The event seemed like a success (to me) with a good size crowd turning out for the tasting. I know myself and the few people I brought from work sure enjoyed our time and the opportunity to taste some pretty pricey wines of great caliber. Good job Barrel Thief team, I look forward to the next one!
If you haven’t already, make sure to stop by the Barrel Thief for some great wine and food or just to browse their selection.