"La Brulade" is the name of a select slope located at an altitude of 400 meters overlooking the Mediterranean sea between La Baie d'Amour (the town of La Ciotat) in the South and La Sainte Baume in the North. This is one of the highest parcels in the Bandol appellation.
The wine is only produced in exceptional vintages. This carefully selected blend is made of 95% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache, aged in large French oak barrels for 24 months.
The wine shows a deep purple color. It is fresh and fruity on the nose with intense garrigue aromas. Structured, elegant and well-balanced on the palate with strong tannins. Licorice, ripe black fruits, garrigue flavors and some peppery freshness on the finish.
The 35-year old grapes are grown on clay and limestone soils and are farmed organically. Yield is very low - 15hl/ha. The grapes are harvested manually.
Winemaking: Double selection, destemming, crushing before skin contact fermentation. No filtration. Aging for 24 months in French oak casks (600L).
Grilled meat (lamb, beef, boar), Mediterranean cuisine, spicy dishes.
"The inky-colored 2015 Bandol Rouge la Brulade is 95% Mourvèdre, aged two years in demi-muids. Rich, plummy and intense, it showcases the power and majesty of Mourvèdre but somehow tames the tannins to manageable proportions. It's full-bodied and dense, boasting hints of lavender, thyme and sage to go along with the dark fruit flavors. It should drink well soon and remain strong through at least 2030. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Interim end of September, September 2018), 93 pts
The flagship 2015 Bandol Brulade is a powerful, serious Bandol that knocks it out of the park with its monster nose of dark fruits, cured meats, sandalwood, olive tapenade, and leathery characteristics. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and pure, with plenty of sexy fruit, it’s a terrific, serious Bandol that needs another 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15-20."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 94 pts
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
The first vintage where they’ve pushed the bottling back to give the cuvee 16-18 months in barrel, the 2015 Besoleil is a dead ringer for a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape and offers perfumed notes of herbes de Provence, kirsch, licorice and sweet spice. It’s medium to full-bodied, textured and fruit-forward, with a hedonistic yet elegant profile that’s going to evolve gracefully.
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"Possessing even more Merlot than the 2014, the 2015 Clos de Betz is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot brought up in a mix of barrels. Its chocolatey plum, tobacco leaf, licorice and damp earth aromatics give way to a medium to full-bodied, polished, pretty style on the palate that shines for its elegance and freshness. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 92-94 pts
Cazaux Vacqueyras Cuvee des Templiers is a blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.
Deep color. Intense and persistent red fruits, spice and violet aromas. 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.
"Lastly, the 2015 Vacqueyras Cuvée des Templiers is made from an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was raised in concrete and stainless-steel tanks. Its ruby/plum color is followed by a medium to full-bodied, ripe, rounded effort that gives up outstanding notes of blackcurrants, thyme, leafy herbs and hints of pepper. This beauty is just more evidence for how good 2015 was for Vacqueyras."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2017), 91 pts
Mas des Capitelles Vintage Faugeres 40% Old Vines Carignan, 30% Mourvedre and 30% Grenache
This wine has a purple intense color.
Aromas are reminicent of Mediterranean character with blackberry, garrigue, thyme and some herbal spice.
The mouthfeel is rich and fresh with some mintiness and a great length to the finish.
We called this new cuvée "Vintage" because this wine represents for us both tradition and modernity.
Tradition because in French, this term is used to designate old products having a style and excellent quality.
Modernity because we also wanted an international name, open to the world and understood by all wine lovers.
"La Catiede" is the name of the "Lieu-dit" where the vines are planted. It has been in the Laugé family for many generations and naming a Cuvée La Catiede represent the heritage and an hommage to their ancestors.
Grown on Schist soilsThe Carignan and the Mourvedre are aged in French Oak barrels for 24 months.
Minimum use of Sulfites
Traditional vinification with 30 days skin contact maceration.
The Grenache was vinified with delicacy, the Mourvèdre was harvested at optimum maturity and the Carignan was selected from our oldest vines
Average yield of 20 hl/ha.
Pairs with delicious with lamb and grilled vegetables.
"The most expensive release in the 2015 Faugères Vintage, which comes from very old vine Carignan, Mourvèdre and Grenache, with the Carignan and Mourvèdre brought up barrel, and the Grenache all in tank. It shows some oak influence yet has wonderful fruit, notes of white flowers, vanilla, and pepper, medium to full body, and an elegant, seamless texture. Give bottles a year or so and it should keep nicely through 2025. It’s another beautiful wine from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 92 pts
Mordoree Lirac Rouge Reine des Bois equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre
Color : deep dark red, with blueish hints.
Aromas : highly fruity ( raspberry, billberry, blackberry ), floral (violet) and intense with a grilled touch ( coffee ).
Palate : melted and concentrated tannins, full bodied, very long fresh finish.
Ageing potential : 8 to 10 years
Grilled meats, sauce meats, game birds, game rabbits and semi-mature cheeses.
The 2015 Lirac La Reine des Bois continues this estate's mastery of the appellation, combining hints of vanilla with black cherry fruit in a full-bodied, richly textured and tannic wine. The blend is 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre, with up to 15% being aged in barriques. Longtime readers will be happy to know that the 2010 (still youthful) and the 2006 (nearing maturity) are drinking well. Based on that, expect this vintage to drink well through at least 2030.-Wine Advocate 93 Points
Meta: An abstraction from a well-known concept. Fruit sourced from Bethany and Marananga.
Bouquet: A bright, lifted bouquet displaying red berries, rhubarb, cherry and spice. Pretty and subtle.
Palate: Raspberry, redcurrant, spice and a hint of earth and dried herbs. Medium bodied with structure, depth and length. Finishes with a savory, chalky note.
Coming from 2 different vineyards. Average age of the vines is 90 years old for the first parcel and 70 years old for the second parcel. Hand-picked, wild yeast, 72% whole bunch.
Minimal use of Oak, the majority is aged in tank in order to avoid oxydation.
The Schwarz Wine Company Estate
Jason Schwarz has strong family connections with the Barossa wine scene, and his father is a grape grower with over a hundred acres of vines. After obtaining a degree in wine marketing and traveling around the world, Jason returned to the Barossa Valley and persuaded his father to allow him to use a small amount of his fruit. He produced his first vintage in 2002.
The Schwarz Wine Company Vineyards
The family Grenache block is planted along a dusty old bus track (Thiele Road) and has been there since Jason's father’s uncle dropped in the cuttings in 1946.
The Nitschke Block was planted in 1968 by Jason's parents in Bethany, one of the originally settled villages of the Barossa Valley. The vines are still traditionally hand pruned and picked. This dry grown vineyard yields only 1.5 to 2 tonnes per acre.
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2016 is made from 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot.
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 2016 Pedestal from Michel Rolland checks in as a blend of 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 85% new French oak. It has a rocking bouquet of smoked black fruits, espresso, chocolate, and tobacco that gives way to a full-bodied, plump, incredibly sexy red that does everything right. It's one serious mouthful of Merlot and should keep for 10-12 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 pts
"The 2016 Pedestal Merlot has a precise nose of dusty plum, red flowers and soft oak tones with an elegant aroma of pencil lead fluttering about. The medium to full-bodied palate is clean and correct, with plush dark red fruit, dusty tannins, purple flowers and soft oak spices of vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. The wine ends with a long, thoughtful, well-balanced finish that delivers complexity and pleasure simultaneously. Michel Rolland made this beauty of a bottle. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #246, December 2019), 94 pts