One of the first wines to arrive from “The Trip”
2015 DOMAINE CORNE-LOUP – Cotes du Rhone, France
I had never been to Europe until the ripe old age of 41, when an importer invited me to join him and a group of my wine-buying peers on a frantic tasting trip through Spain. Since then I’ve been back to the Old Country several times, nearly always with the wine business as the enabler. My most recent “different hotel room every night” jaunt took place in January, with my first experience of Portugal then several stops in France. This two-week excursion was especially important to my work with its provision of dozens (hundreds?) of tastes from the soon-to-arrive 2015 vintage. With hardly an exception, this year will be remembered as excellent from all corners of Wine Europe. This was already predicted by the wine reviewers preceding me with their own visits, and validated for Yours Truly with my own experiences of the soon-to-be released wines.
Our visit to Domaine Corne-Loup happened about two-thirds of the way through our journey, with the previous night spent in Carcassonne. This day brought us to the Southern Rhone and our first stop had us in Lirac, across the Rhone River from more famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This small winery makes Lirac Rouge, Lirac Blanc, and Tavel – the “King of Rosés” from the pink-wine-only region next door to Lirac. I appreciated all they poured, and was especially happy with the 2015’s. Most of those remain unreleased, but this little Cotes du Rhone, a “de-classified” Lirac, was let out to play a little sooner.
Here is 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre
The color: Dark red ruby.
The nose: Red berries, truffles and spices.
The flavors: Complex and rich with red and black fruits, plus an herbal spice – the type of aromas coming from the surrounding vegetation (Garrigue).
This is a nice value from a great vintage. Enjoy with barbecue and pizza and bold sauces on pasta.
Meant to cost nearly $20. Doesn’t.
2013 BOYA PINOT NOIR – Leyda Valley, Chile
This wine asks some important questions of its drinker: “Do you smell your wine?” “Do you appreciate ‘delicacy’?” “Can you tell when a wine doesn’t have to be ‘Big’ to be great?”
Here is a Chilean wine message far different from that country’s more familiar Cabernet or Carmenere proclamation of “Dark and weighty.” This Pinot Noir tries to be nothing more – or other - than Pinot Noir. The color is honestly transparent. The nose references spice cake, dried orange peels, and reluctant cherries. The palate feel is nearly vaporous. The sum of the effect: Delicious evasion.
One more comment: Value. While this is a light, less-is-more wine experience, its thoughtfulness and difficult farming circumstances (we see the Pacific from the vineyard, whose effect is windily crop-diminishing) make this a nearly $20 wine - normally. Your membership afforded buying power, and we’re able to provide a profundity unusual for your bargain club. We hope you appreciate it!