WTN: A QPR wine tasting

The monthly Wine Focus discussions are now held in the main Wine Forum (above). The forum remains open as an archive, but please post comments and questions in the Wine Forum.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

WTN: A QPR wine tasting

Postby Tim York » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:58 am

Espace Vin Pirard is proud of its QPR wines – “Grands Vins, Petits Prix”. In their Spring tasting this year the most expensive on show cost €22 (rounded to the nearest Euro). I could claim that practically all the wines which I tasted, with one notable exception and a couple or so borderline cases, represented fair value, so I have invented two new categories QPR and QPR!! to highlight very good and outstanding QPR respectively. So this tasting was definitely a QPR success although I tasted no really outstanding wines. (Outstanding bottles mostly lie with this merchant in his offerings from some more prestigious but non-QPR producers, particularly from Burgundy, e.g. Rousseau, Gouges, Pousse d’Or, J-M Boillot, Pierre Morey. Such wines are much less often on show and there were none last Saturday.)

Red wine stand (no vignerons present)
Château Haut Guillebot – Bordeaux – 2006 – (€6), Merlot dominated blend, showed aromas of nice meaty and tangy plum and a fruity supple palate with enough grip for balance; 15.5/20 ++ QPR!!; a good start to the show.
Malbec Altas Cumbres 2007 - Argentine – (€7) was marked by wood, but it was of a fine cedary type, and showed good fruit, marked acidity and strong grip; could become good if the oak integrates; 14/20 now.
Château Les Tours Seguy Côtes de Bourg 2007 – (€8) managed to redeem the usual thinness of the vintage with some nice tangy fruit; 14/20.
Saumur-Champigny 2006 – Domaine des Roches Neuves – (€8) showed aromas of ripe plum veering towards prune combined with minerals and an attractive freshness; 15.5/20 QPR.
Chiroubles 2007 – Domaine Marrans (€10) was much better than the Duboeuf which I noted the other day; still more thin than in many years but showing attractive fruit and minerality with some Chiroubles charm; 15/20+.
Château Roquetaillade-la-Grange – Graves - 2006 (€12); a true horror dominated by caramelised and coconut oak with some pretty fruit hiding in the background; the salesman confessed that some American oak had been used so this must be the intended effect; 11/20.
Château Pavillon Bel-Air – Lalande-de-Pomerol – 2006 (€16) showed some impressively round fruit with good grip and some wood tannins in the course of integration; 15/20 with + potential.

White wine stand (no vignerons present)
Costières de Nîmes 2008 – Pirard’s own bottling – (€5), made from Grenache blanc, showed floral aromas and an attractive freshness; 15/20 QPR.
Torrontes 2008 – Domaine Borbore, Argentine – (€6) showed some mismatch between nose and palate; the former was spicy and floral and the latter attractively mineral and lively acidity; very nice though; 15.5/20 QPR!!
Château Jolys Jurançon sec 2006 – (€8) showed aromas of tangy grapefruit and a touch of honey with good “gras”, minerality and freshness on the palate; 15.5/20 QPR.
Schloss Böckelheimer Riesling – Nahe – 2007 – (€9) was somewhat honeyed with some RS on the palate offset by some fair acidity; easy drinking but a touch bland; 14.5/20.
Würzburger Stein Riesling 2007 – Staatlicher Hofkeller, Franken – (€10) was much better; fresh, mineral and floral and mouth-wateringly crisp acidity; 15.5/20++ QPR.

Fattoria Corzano e Paterno, Tuscany http://www.corzanoepaterno.it/home.php
This estate was represented by a family member, a very attractive and charming young lady.
Il Corzanello bianco 2008 (€9), Chardonnay 50% plus Sémillon and Sauvignon, showed burnished aromas (Chard) combined with some zippy and tangy acidity with grapefruit bitter finish (SB); it worked; 15/20.
Chianti Terre di Corzano 2006 (€12) had some very nice fruit, plum veering to prune, with quite full body and chocolate touches but was a bit short of the mouth-watering acid tang which I look for in Chianti; nice wine, though, but I prefer Colli Senesi Farnetella (€9) for my standard Chianti fix; 15.5/20.
Chianti Riserva “I Tre Borri” 2005 (€22) sees 30% new wood and this was apparent in the background to the dense fruit. The palate was notably deeper and more complex and tannic than the previous needing more time; an impressive result for an often soft and somewhat dilute vintage; 16/20 when the oak integrates.

Martúe, Tierra de Castilla, near Toledo, Spain http://www.martue.com/martue_english/index.html
Another attractive and charming lady presenter here. This seems to be an up and coming area; good wines also from Ercavio, which I tried the following day.
Tierra de Castilla 2006 (€11), made from Tempranillo 50% and the balance from CabSauv, Merlot and Syrah, was attractive with generous dark fruit and liquorice notes, full body, good acidity and after-taste; 15.5/20+ QPR.
Tierra de Castilla Syrah 2006 (€19) sees 12 months in new oak barrels and this was very apparent in a smooth sweet patina (but not aggressive like the Roquetaillade); the body was full and the red/dark fruit quite dense with prune touches and firm tannins were still present. I would prefer this wine with less wood influence and it probably needs some time to moderate that as well as the tannins; 15/20+ now.

Château Haut Bel Air, Bergerac
This estate is located to the west of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande nearer to Saint-Émilion than to Bergerac.
Montravel (W) 2007 (€5), made from Sauvignon 75% and Sémillon 25%, was deliciously lively and mineral with lime sweet and honeyed touches; 15.5/20+ QPR!!
Bergerac (R) 2005 (€5), made from Merlot 75% and CabFranc 25%, showed very nice meaty plum aromas, medium body and supple round fruit with a caressing mouth-feel and the right grip for balance. M. Jean-René Rey said that he was not afraid for this wine to face up to the Lalande-de-Pomerol (€16) across the room; indeed I thought it was better right now; 15.5/20++ QPR!!

Château Petit Boyer, 1ères Côtes de Blaye
Premières Côtes de Blaye (W) 2007 (€8), made from Sauvignon, showed hints of cats’ piss at first which were absorbed on swirl by tangy notes of grapefruit and gooseberry with more gras, less tension and a softer mouth-feel than found in Sancerre; 15.5/20 QPR.
Premières Côtes de Blaye (R) 2007 (€8), made from Merlot and CabSauv, showed aromas of pruney plum, meat and leather, medium/full body and surprisingly round and smooth fruit for a difficult year with good grip; 15.5/20 QPR.

Domaine du Mairon - VdP d’Oc - Cabernet franc 2007 (€6) was quite different from Loire CabFranc with its spice, prune and even liquorice touches and generous sweet fruit; just a hint of bell pepper showed that it belonged to the same family; 15/20+ QPR.

Abbaye de Valmange, Languedoc http://www.wineterroirs.com/2005/02/abb ... valma.html
VdP de la Moure “Le Secret de Frère Nonenque” 2008 – (€6), made from Carignan, Grenache and Morastel (?), had plum and leathery aromas and soft, supple fruit with enough grip; 15/20++ QPR.
Coteaux du Languedoc 2007 – (€7), made from Syrah and Mourvèdre, showed floral notes and brighter fruit also with leathery touches and palate was quite full and suave on entry and mid palate with a plenty of grip on the finish; 15.5/20 QPR
Coteaux du Languedoc “Cuvée de Turenne” 2005 – (€11), had boiled sweet and liquorice notes in its aromas with herds coming out on the quite deep and long palate; 15.5/20++.

Mas du Fadan, Côtes du Ventoux
There was a long conversation in progress when I arrived at this table between the clearly dedicated vigneron and a persistent and rather boring customer on the differences between organic (which this estate claims) and natural (which it doesn’t) viticulture and winemaking. I could hardly get a word in edge-ways (rare for me) and the conversation was continuing after I left the table. I did however learn that there were no fining and filtering. I was struck here by the purity of the flavours.
Cuvée Rose (pink) 2008 (€6), made from Grenache and Syrah, showed some boiled sweet on the nose but was mineral, fresh and fruity on the palate; 15/20 QPR.
Coteaux du Ventoux “Cuvée des Fées” 2006 - (€7), made from Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, showed well focussed and pure fruit, good freshness combined with liquorice touches and good structure; 15.5/20++ QPR.
Coteaux du Ventoux “Cuvée Anna” 2004 – (€10), made from Grenache and Carignan and seeing 2 years of ageing in used wood, still needed some time with its discreet nose, dense peppery fruit and marked structure; potentially 16/20? In two years, say, QPR?

Domaine Boudau, Roussillon http://www.domaineboudau.fr/en/accueil.html
VdP des Côtes Catalanes (rosé) “Petit Closi” 2008 – (€6) showed boiled sweet aromas with refreshingly bitter edge and sweet hint on the entry to an otherwise refreshing palate; 14.5/20.
Côtes du Roussillon Villages “Tradition” 2006 – (€9), made from Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, was round, sweetly generous and peppery; 15.5/20+ QPR.
Côtes du Roussillon Village “Henri Boudau” 2006 – (€12), made from Syrah 70% and Grenache, was more floral and deeper on the palate; 16/20 QRP.
Côtes du Roussillon Village “Cuvée Patrimoine” 2006 – (€16), made from Grenache 80% and Syrah, showed touches of orange peel in its aromas and lots of body and dense peppery fruit; should improve; 16/20.
VDN Rivesaltes sur Grains 2007 – (€11), Grenache, had a peppery and stalky, almost jammy, sweetness with firm structure which prevented cloying; 15.5/20++ QPR.
VDN Muscat de Rivesaltes 2008 – (€10) had the usual apricot and spicy Muscat aromas with a certain fresh acidity and grip which is unusual in this often bland and cloying wine type; 16/20 QPR!!

Domaine Saint-André de Figuière, Provence http://www.figuiere-provence.com/
Côtes de Provence Cuvée Magali (rosé) 2008 – (€9), made from CabSauv, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, was freshly fruity and spicy albeit rather slight; 14.5/20.
Côtes de Provence Grande Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (rosé) 2008 – (€11), made from Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault, was a much more serious wine showing floral and meaty aromatics and substance, amplitude and structure on the palate; 15.5/20+.
Côtes de Provence “Cuvée François” 2007 – (€9), CabSauv, Syrah and Grenache, showed sweetly fruity aromas on the nose but a certain austerity with structure on the palate; 15/20.
Côtes de Provence Grande Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2007 – (€13), Mourvèdre and Syrah with one year in used barrels, showed aromas of meat, spice and prunes and a full, velvety palate with fruit and structure well integrated; 16/20 with some further potential; QPR.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
Posts: 3910
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: WTN: A QPR wine tasting

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:53 pm

I wish I had better opportunities to explore the wines of Southern France. They seem to be a never ending fountain of QPR.

Great notes Tim. Thank you very much.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
Posts: 22255
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: A QPR wine tasting

Postby Tim York » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:22 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I wish I had better opportunities to explore the wines of Southern France. They seem to be a never ending fountain of QPR.

There is indeed an abundant fountain of good QPR wine in Southern France :D which unfortunately co-exists with a lot of bad wine :shock: . The best values are often in quite small quantities and I find that good guidance and/or a good merchant are essential as a supplement to personal experience in order to screen out the bad and to identify good new sources. That's where people like Espace Vin Pirard come in together with a handful of others like them in Belgium and their equivalents elsewhere. The majority of the estates represented at that tasting were not previously on my radar screen.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
Posts: 3910
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Return to Wine Focus

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests