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Bibendum Fine Wine Tasting, Monday March 5th 2001 (continued)

Part 2: Southern Rhône, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence

(see also Part 1: the Northern Rhône)

Southern Rhône

Domaine Font Sane Gigondas Cuvee Futée 1999 (£110 per 12)
An impressive wine in an up-front, showy style (I suspect Robert Parker would call this 'hedonistic'). The sexy, open nose shows attractive sweet fruit with a lovely liquorice and herb edge. On the palate it shows lush, herby fruit and high alcohol. Very good/excellent
(NA: Very jammy, high-toned red. Same volatile palate. Mid-weight. OK)

Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge 1999 (£90 per 12)
The sample was showing a muted nose with a slightly cardboardy edge. I thought this was lightly corked, but apparently the wine was showing consistently like this. Perhaps bottle shock is the explanation?
(NA: Cardboardy/sulphurous – seemed flat and bottle shocked and impossible to judge)

Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 1999 (£225 per 12; £115 per 6)
This is currently very closed on the nose, but the tight-knit, tannic palate with dense, clean, herby fruit suggests that in time this will become a wonderful example of this great wine. Judgement reserved because of its highly closed-up nature.
(NA: Same cardboardy edge – but seemed to have more guts underneath. I’m guessing at least VG.)

Coudoulet de Beaucastel Blanc 1999 (£78 per 12)
A youthful, modern-styled white with a pronounced boiled sweets/pear drop nose and clean fruit on the palate. May develop some interest? Currently merely good.

Domaine Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Sinards 1999 (£125 per 12)
Made from a Perrin-owned vineyard. Quite light coloured. Subdued nose. Firm tannins and spicy Grenache fruit on the palate. A nice Châteauneuf in a traditional style. Very good.
(NA: Moderately intense Grenache-dominant nose with good complexity. Good ripeness but a little subdued. Good+)

Domaine Perrin Crozes-Hermitage 1999 (£75 per 12)
Bought in grapes. Bright red/purple colour. Subdued but clean nose with some smoky hints. It's youthful on the palate, with plenty of attractive berry fruit and firm tannins. Needs time, but potentially very good+
(NA: Richer, meatier, more black fruit. Crunchy berry palate, mid-weight and moderately tannic but with a clean, albeit short finish. Good, would be VG but for short finish.)

Château des Tours Côtes du Rhône Rouge 1999 (£65 per 12)
Emmanuel Reynaud owns 5 ha of Côtes du Rhône and 15 ha of Vacqueyras vineyards; he's also the nephew of Jacques Reynaud of Château Rayas fame. This wine is a surprisingly pale cherry colour with a tight, herby nose. The pleasant herby fruit is backed up with dense tannins, but it's quite a closed, traditional-styled wine that isn't showing that well at present. May have a bright future ahead of it, though. Good+
(NA: Simple attenuated fruit. Either poor or bottle shocked.)

Château des Tours Vacqueyras 1999 (£110 per 12)
Light in colour (typical of Grenache-dominated wines) with herby fruit on the nose. The appealing palate shows ripe, spicy, herby Grenache fruit underpinned by dense tannins. A nice wine in a classic style, and one which may well improve with age. Very good+
(NA: Sulphurous, seemed weak, but again this could be the bottling.)


Domaine des Bastides Coteaux d'Aix Cuvée Valeria 1999 (£85 per 12)
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Deep red/purple in colour, the nose is dominated by sweet, ripe fruit with a pleasant licouricey/herby edge. On the palate the spicy tannins underlie rich, luscious fruit with enough structure to give balance. This is an interesting, serious wine at a good price. Very good/excellent
(NA: Overripe, jammy aromas of tar, liquorice. Brighter on the palate, tannic and more red fruity. Drying finish. OK)

Languedoc Roussillon

Prieure de St. Jean de Bebian Blanc 1999, Coteaux de Languedoc (£165 per 12)
A blend of Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache Blanc. This is a delicious, full flavoured white wine (although they aren't exactly giving it away at £17.50 a bottle). The ripe, floral, spicy nose has quite an exotic edge to it. The palate is full and rich, showing quite a bit of oak influence, although this is well matched by the fruit and may integrate further. Very good/excellent

Prieure de St. Jean de Bebian Rouge 1999, Coteaux de Languedoc (£110 per 12)
A classic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Rich, sweet fruit dominates the nose. Firm tannins on the palate combine with spicy wood notes and attractive herbal character. Very southern. Very good+
(NA: Lovely lifted aromatics, sweet red fruits. Lively bright palate with moderate tannins too. VG nose, good+ overall)

Pech Redon Blanc 1999 (£50 per 12)
A rather uninspiring blend of Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc, this displays clean, modern fruit. Good

Pech Redon Selection Rouge 1999 (£65 per 12)
Nice dense, menthol-laced nose to this concentrated red. Firm tannins and some spice on the palate; quite modern-styled. Very good
(NA: Touched by sulphur but overall a lovely bright, nicely ripe, balanced and cleanly finishing wine. Good+)

Château Coupe Roses Minervois Les Plots 1999 (£55 per 12)
Attractive open nose is herby and rich with a liquorice edge. Rich, dense, herby characterfull palate with plenty of tannin. Impressive stuff. Very good+
(NA: Funkier, gamier aromas. Moderate tannins, good depth to the fruit and modest finish. Good)

(back to Part 1: the Northern Rhône)

Contact details:
Bibendum Wine Limited
113 Regents Park Road
London NW1 8UR


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