Last night the "Weekend Flight Club" gathered for some home made Indian food and wine. The evening started off with two really tasty Rose wines, as May for me, is when you start to dig into Rose and enjoy them for as long as you can.
Up first was the stunning 2016 Domaine du Mourchon Loubie Rose. Made from 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, the screwcapped pink wine has just arrived and is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Rose's. It has just enough strawberry flavor to tickle the palate, while also having touches ripe blueberry and blackberry along with some orange blossom citrus notes. Walter McKinley and his team have a hit on their hands. Find this while you can as the wine is as good here in the USA as it was when I tasted it last it last month at the winery with Walter and his team.
I then turned to the 2015 Margerum Riviera Rose made by pal Doug Margerum. This was my last bottle (I think) of my pick last year for one of the Central Coast's Rose wines along with Habit, Villa Creek and Kaena. A year later the 100 percent Grenache made from fruit from both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo still has it. In the year that has passed the wine really hasn't changed that much. It's still got that crisp, steely base, hints of limestone and granite, bright red strawberry and raspberry and more.
We then went to the white wine of the night. I realized how low I am on whites and have started to buy them again, but in small quantities of twos and three, but in the case of this wine, I opted for a whole case, and am I ever happy I did.
The wine is the 2016 l’Effet Papillon Blanc and this was my second bottle of the week, as this is likely my house wine of the
summer. Made from Grenache Blanc and Macabeu this honeyed, golden white colored wine has layer upon layer of ripe melon and citrus from first whiff to last gulp. Honeydew, cantaloupe, papaya are all the flavors that hit you at first, with a hint of lemon, lime and orange peel. This is a stunning white wine...Get them while you can at Moore Brothers out of the east coast.
The first of three reds was delightful blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and cabernet franc from Washington state's Walla Walla Valley. The 2009 Beresan Stone River blend was one red that just didn't last long as the group's male contingent of Victor Rogers, Lloyd Marino and I were totally enthralled by it's bright fruit, elegant balance and delightful fruit. The cabernet franc gave the wine a hint of bell pepper, but the very bright cabernet sauvignon and merlot put the fruit bomb appeal right out in front.
We ended the night with two very oldies but goodies from the brother act in Saint Chinian, the Mouliniers. Back in the mid 90's they had an importer who found them and brought them to the USA for a few vintages, specifically 1994 and 1995. I visited them in 1997 and learned how the same importer had left them high and dry subsequently, and their very well reviewed wines disappeared from the US store scene for a while. These were (I think) the last of what I had bought back in the 90s from John Lindsay at Vintage Wine in San Diego and honestly, I was "guessing" that they would have held up, some 22 and 23 years after bottling. But given the success I've been seeing with Sylvain Fadat's older reds and my own trust in the older vine wines produced in the Languedoc I was betting they had. And did they ever shine.
The bottle of 1995 Moulinier Cuvee des Sigillaires was simply mind blowing. I've had many a Syrah/Grenache blend from the Pays d'Oc and Saint Chinian specifically over my now 32+ year sojourn into French country wines, but this along with it's companion 1994 Les Terrasses Grilles, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, were both just stunning, off the chart, head turning wines.
Beyond discovering the youthful nature, and the deep dark colors of the wines, the reality was that these two wines were full of fruit and certainly ready to drink. My impression of the Cuvee des Sigillaires was of black pepper, blueberry, black raspberry, chewy red and black cherry, all foretold by the aromas of violets and the high garrigue and Asian and Middle eastern spices (but that could have been from the excellent tandori chicken too).
The Les Terrasses Grilles was even more aromatic and complex. The addition of Mourvedre gave the wine even more black spice, fruit and plum like appeal. Blueberry, bacon fat, red raspberry, blackberry, red and black plums, plus a hit of wild herbs were there. In some ways the wine drank more like a youthful cab or merlot, as it's fruit was so front and center.
Given the quality of the two Moulinier wines, it would be easy to compare them to some of the best Chateauneuf du Pape's or Gigondas reds. For my friends in the Languedoc, Bernard Bardou and Michel Smith who seek out amazing producers, it would be fun for you two to visit Moulinier and see if they have any of these wines left, and to then open some and see if they compare to what we had last night...
Cheers! Cheers! Cheers!