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Cazaux Gigondas Cuvee Prestige is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre produced from the oldest vines of the estate and only in the years of highest grape quality. Aromas of prune, chocolate, spices, fruit brandy and plum. Rounded tannins and a long finish.
Red meats aged, venisson
The Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux Estate
The Domaine was founded in 1905 by Gabriel Archimbaud and is now run by Maurice Vache and his two sons Jean-Michel and Frederic. The Archimbaud and Vache families are among the oldest ones in Vacqueyras. The oldest part of the property dates back to the 12th century and belonged to "Les Chevaliers de l'Ordre des Templiers" (the Templar Knights). An ancient Moorish Tower sits on the property, the Tower of Sarrasine in ruins.
The Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux Vineyard
The estate spreads over 40 hectares (98.8 acres) of vineyard land:
- 25 ha in Gigondas. The quality of the soil is outstanding and the sun exposure is optimal due to the special location of the vineyard, surrounded by the rocky massif of the "Dentelles de Montmirail", upon which is built the Sarrasine tower.
- 15 ha in Vacqueyras, on sandy-clayey and sunny slopes.
The vineyards are planted to 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. The vines are 40-50 year old. The annual production is 8,800 to 10,000 cases. The average yield is 28 hl/ha.
The vines are cultivated with utmost respect to the environment. Only Bordeaux mixture (antifungal agent consisting of a solution of copper sulfate and quicklime) and sulfur is used in the phytosanitary (pertaining to the health of plant) and vineyard treatment. At all times, the vineyards are manually tended, including manual harvest. To ensure optimal quality, only the best grapes are selected during a green harvest in Summer which eliminates at least 20% of the production.
Each grape variety is picked at its optimum maturity and vinified separately. Syrah is usually harvested first, followed by Grenache and then Mourvèdre. The whole clusters are placed into specially equipped bins having a screw in the bottom that allow the grapes to fall into the tanks without any crushing. This near carbonic fermentation period depends on the grape varieties and the conditions. When the fermentation is complete, the varietal wines are blended together (typically in November).
The maturation takes place first in stainless steel tanks for the juice to settle, then in concrete or enamel tanks. The wines mature in the cellars for at least 2 years before bottling. There is no fining, and only a light filtration to limit the natural deposit on the bottle.
Cazaux Gigondas Tour Sarrasine is made from 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. 45 year old vines on average.
Intense, persistent red and dark fruit aromas. Raspberry, pepper and spice flavors. Silky tannins.
Enjoy with game meat or strong cheeses.
Cazaux Vacqueyras Cuvee des Templiers is a blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.
The Syrah vines are situated on the sandy, grey clay slopes of Vacqueyras near the estate. They are facing east west, so the sun warms the grapes early in the morning allowing a considerable synthesis of sugars. The sandy soil is poor giving a reduced yield. The resulting wine is very fruity with strong persistent aromas of red fruits, spices and violets brought by the Syrah. Intense black cherry, blackberry, blueberry and cherry flavors. Explosive fruit tannins give the sweet, creamy flavors structure and focus, bright and uplifting on the finish.
Enjoy this wine when young with grilled beef and bearnaise sauce, lamb and thyme. After 7-10 years excellent with game meats.
Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Les Clefs d'Or is made from 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc.
A wine with lively acidity, expressive aromas of fennel and white flowers. It is long and full in the mouth with minty and anisy aromas mixed with white peach flavors. Refreshing and mineral character.
Clairette grapes are green harvested to concentrate and harmonize aroma. Each grape varietal is hand picked separately. Pressing with skin contact at low temperature. Aged 12 months in stainless steel tank. (No oak)
Enjoy this wine with all sorts of fish starters, squid salad with olive oil and basil. A must try with fresh oysters.
"The 2018 Vacqueyras Les Clefs D'Or Blanc is another head-turner. A blend of 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne, and 20% Grenache Blanc brought up in tank, it offers a clean, vibrant style carrying classy notes of tart peach, citrus, lemongrass, and exotic herbs. Medium-bodied, balanced, and with a kiss of minerality, it’s solid today, yet I suspect it will age gracefully for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2019, Southern Rhône Part 2: 2017 & 2018 from Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Cairanne, and Rasteau), 92 pts
Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin is made from 100 percent Grenache.
A beautiful bottle, archetype of the appellation, which expresses the quintessence of Grenache in its cradle of Châteauneuf du Pape. Between notes of black fruit and violets, this vintage advances in time with suppleness, with already melted tannins.
This bursts forth with delicious crushed plum, cherry puree and raspberry coulis notes that stretch out slowly through the lengthy, anise- and black tea–infused finish. Not shy with its fruit, but this has more than enough energy and detail for balance. Best from 2021 through 2038.
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
As usual, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin displays more red fruit than the main bottling, being 100% Grenache from sandier soils. Raspberries and cherries appear on the nose alongside subtle hints of garrigue. The full-bodied palate is almost airy in feel, supported by a latticework of silky tannins and bright acids, while simultaneously adding bass notes of dark chocolate and licorice that linger on the finish. It's an impressive effort.
-Robert Parker 95 Points
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana is 100% Syrah.
Black raspberry aromas, licorice, sizzled bacon and smoke. Elegant and pure with depth and well-integrated tannins.
Jana is the name of Johann and Emmanuelle's daughter.
Manual harvest, selection of the grapes from the "Chaillot" parcel, full clusters, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (new old barrels) The average age of the vines is 11 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha
There are two special cuvées from this estate. Looking first at the 2018 Cornas Cuvée Jana, it tastes like the essence of Cornas with its meaty, bloody aromas and flavors of scorched earth, ground pepper, rare steak, iron, cedar, and dark, almost blue fruits. Tight, tannic, and concentrated on the palate, this full-bodied effort packs incredible intensity and power yet stays lively, elegant, and weightless. It's a brilliant, brilliant Cornas, yet certainly not for those seeking instant gratification. It actually reminds me slightly of the incredibly age-worthy wines from Domaine Clape, and I suspect it will have a similar evolution. Hide bottles for 7-8 years and enjoy over the following two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 99 pts
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel is made from 100 percent Syrah.
Cuvee Mère Michel was first introduced in 2016 and is not produced every year. This wine is a tribute to Johann Michel' wife, Emmanuelle, and a nod to the French song, La Mere Michel. This wines comes from Selection Massale (replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines from the same property) cuttings of Serine off the 1947 Yves Cuilleron vineyard at Chavanay. The vineyards are located in the lieu-dit "Les Cotes" at an altitude of 230 meters and benefiting from a southern sun exposure.
"Only made in top vintages, the 2018 Cornas Mère Michel is a tribute to Johann's wife and a play on the French song "La Mere Michelle." Brought up in a new demi-muid, it's a richer, broader wine compared to the Cuvée Jana yet still has incredible Cornas style in its red, black, and blue fruits as well as notes of toasted spice, roasted meat, chocolate, and wild herbs. Rich, full-bodied, and opulent, it has a touch more upfront appeal and should be drinkable in just 4-5 years yet also evolve for two decades." -
Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 98 pts
Michael David Winery Gluttony Old Vine Zinfandel is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
This region produces some of California’s biggest and burliest Zinfandels that pull no punches, all too fitting characteristics for this wine. The grapes for this wine come from a 5 acre, 90 year old dry farmed Zinfandel hilltop vineyard off Ridge Road in Amador County, near Sutter Creek. Farmer Jon Murrill oversees the vineyard and does much of the farming himself.
TASTING NOTES This burly Zin is worth the indulgence. Deep purple in color, our 2017 Gluttony Zinfandel opens with tempting notes of pomegranate, ripe berry and hickory on the nose. Bold and booming flavors of plum, boysenberry and spice stand out while the extended barrel aging and mild tannins lend to a lush, lingering finish.
Tollot-Beaut Aloxe-Corton Rouge is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Tollot-Beaut’s Aloxe-Corton is from vines planted between 1973 and 1993. The wine shows aromas and flavors of red cherries, red plum, violets, and earth with bright acidity and moderate tannins. It aged for 18 months in 30% new Burgundian piece.
Red Burgundy might be the world’s most flexible food wine. The wine’s high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, and low tannins make it very food-friendly. Red Burgundy, with its earthy and sometimes gamey character, is a classic partner to roasted game birds, grilled duck breast, and dishes that feature mushrooms, black truffles, or are rich in umami.
Textural suppleness is the main attraction of this Corton for the moment, its plummy fruit less expressive than Tollot’s Bressandes (also recommended here). Delicious as a young wine, this may reveal depths and layers of flavor for those who wait.
- Wine & Spirits 93 Points