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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.
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.
Mas Sinen Priorat Petit Mas Sinen is made from 45% Garnacha, 30% Cariñena (also called Samsó), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 5% Merlot.
Aged in oak barrels for 6 months.
Maceration for 21 days. ML in stainless steel tanks.
Clarification with white egg and soft filtration.
The wine shows great spice and leather components, some minerality and a lot of ripe red fruits aromas as well.
This wine is certified organic.
All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
"Alex Starey's Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a single vineyard called Cottage Lane, located on the crest of a hill at 350 metres. Blended with 11% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec, this is scented, serious and concentrated, all cassis and blood orange flavours with dense tannins, stylish wood and the balance and definition of the 2017 vintage. 2022-29"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 93 pts
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
Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Viognier
The wine has a beautiful golden color.
The aromas are rich and exotic with mango, almonds, toast, lemon, pineapple white flowers and papaye. These aromas will develop to honey, butter and pear after ageing for a few years.
The finish is long, citrusy and toasty.
Terroir: Slopes of sandy soil or grey limestone.
Yield: 25 -30 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 70 years old minimum. The oldest are around 90 years old.
The grapes are pressed pneumatically after a few hours contact with the skins.The must is kept at 20°c during the alcoholic fermentation to optimise the aromas and respect the wine’s suppleness.
Barrel fermented an aged in 228-liter French Oak barrel for 12 months with regular stirrings of the lees.
MaloLactic Fermentation also in barrel.
Enjoy this wine with rich dish, river fish or poultry cooking in creamy sauce. Delicious with a mushroom risotto.
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
Landes Cuvee Tradition Lussac Saint Emilion is made from 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc
Color: deep ruby intense color.
Aroma: racy and aromatic nose with aromas of ripe red fruit.
Taste: this wine is silky, round and smooth first taste, with aromas of raspberries, and blackcurrant, powerful and complex finish.
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
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2015 Pedestal Merlot from Long Shadows is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Crème de cassis, wood smoke, scorched earth, and graphite characteristics all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, voluptuous beauty that has more mid-palate depth and richness than any other Merlot made in the state. With ample tannin, it will benefit from a year or three and keep for 15. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts
Number 83 in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018
Willowcroft Cabernet Franc is made from 75% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Chambourcin and 4% Petit Verdot. This is a blend of clones from Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.
This is planted on silty loam soils.
Harvested from home Vineyards on Sept 23rd 2015 (brix 23.9).
Fermented and aged for 12 months in a mix of French, Hungarian and American Oak barrels.
It was slightly filtered before bottling.