On Monday 18th November the WING group met to taste some Roussillon wines. The tasting was led by local wine-merchant, and Southern France specialist Leon Stolarski of Leon Stolarski Fine Wines. His range is worth looking at for a variety of styles and several of the group have had his wines in the past.

This tasting was composed of 7 Roussillon wines: details of the wine follow, with Leon’s note derived from his list and then my note from the tasting itself… feel free to add your own….

Domaine Treloar MO2 2009 Vin de France        15.0%            £16.25
100% Muscat a Petit Grains. Orange/gold colour with orange marmalade and solera/flor-like notes, classic Muscat grapiness, a touch of honey and a subtle herbiness. The palate is almost dry, with only the fortifying grape spirit contributing a perception of “off-dryness”. The texture is rich and unctious, coating the mouth with delicious grapey, marmaladey, buttery/biscuity and nutty flavours, yet remaining refreshing and distinctly tangy. This really is a wine for contemplation – and the length is immense.

This was made when a cooling plant failed at the start of a normal Muscat de Rivesaltes production. The wine oxidised – hence the O2. part of the name. The resulting wine is cloudy and pungent with sherry notes with a grapey undertone. Warm on the palate with orange peel and sherry again – some perceptible alcohol and further warmth from spices – long, weird and rather wonderful.

Domaine Piétri-Géraud Collioure Blanc l’Écume 2011  Collioure          13.5%            £15.50
85% Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris, 15% Vermentino. Herby and spicy, with notes of peach, apple, orange peel and cut lime, along with a gentle herbaceousness. Some older oak and a subtle smokiness – and bags of schistey/saline minerality. Delightfully fresh, crisp and citrussy, not overtly rich, but beautifully clean and focused, with plenty of concentration countered by laser-like acidity – definitely the best vintage of this cuvée so far.

Herby notes at first – some linseed and bready elements – soft (peach?) fruit later. Warm herb bread palate too and a line of acidity with (over-?) ripe fruit. Quite a long and deep palate with the mouth feel of the Southern Rhone but a stronger line of acidity… later the wine gives some honeysuckle, almost Chenin, notes. Very nice

Domaine Mas de Lavail Le Sud 2011 – Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes          14.5%             £13.99
Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris. Floral, with notes of honeysuckle, pine and orange blossom, lemon zest/oil and wet stone. Citrus on the palate, with apple pie, mixed spice, white pepper and star anise. Rich, honeyed and nutty, with plenty of acidity and a perception of stoney minerality. A robust, quite muscular wine.

Immediate fennel nose then sweet notes and some oak. Alcohol warmth on the palate with a spicy richness, big but supported by a line of citric acidity. An even bigger S. Rhone style needing quite strong food flavours – terrine or a white meat and fennel dish?

Domaine Piétri-Géraud Sine Nomine 2010 Collioure     13.5%           £13.99
60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% each of Mourvedre and Carignan. Deeply fruity and expressive, displaying aromas of black cherry, bramble and orange, with subtle polished old wood and smoke nuances and a faint whiff of the sea. The shows complex fresh and crystallised red and black fruit flavours, infused with herbs and spices and a touch of the forest floor. Lively and mouth-watering, with gentle tannins and cracking acidity.

Garrigue and plums at first then a more brambly tone. Another warm palate some salty elements and a bay leaf twist to otherwise soft tannins. Good length and supple but would improve with time and some food….

Domaine Treloar Motus 2010 Côtes du Roussillon       14.0%          £14.95
Virtually all Mourvedre, with a splash of Syrah and Grenache. Intense aromas of bramble and cassis, leather, roast meat and polished wood. Subtle hints of garam masala and cardamom and a whiff of decaying leaves. Very complex stuff, with flavours of ripe bramble and raspberry, allied to fine, grippy tannins and tangy acidity, making for a deliciously sweet and sour wine with a touch of savoury meatiness and a rich texture.

Meaty nose – in every sense – then a light perfumed note and then some wood and spices – cloves? Supple tannins and blackcurrant, clove again and a lip-smacking acidity. Drying tannins at the finish of course but the finish is a long one. Develops and changes in the glass – showing, among other things, a liver note – but deep dark fruit and subtle nuances too. A lovely and fabulous value Mourvedre… Probably my wine of the night

Domaine Sol-Payré Trilogia 2011 Côtes du Roussillon 14.5%          £18.50
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan. Blueberries, plums and black cherries steeped in eau de vie, with subtle hints of violets and herbs, polished leather and brioche. Rich, ripe and packed full of juicy red and black fruits – a vibrant, chunky, mouth-filling wine. A serious wine, with genuine structure, the sweet-sour fruit flavours are shot through with all manner of herb and spice nuances, with a rich, bread/pastry quality countered by beautifully ripe tannins and orange-tinged acidity. Even after a couple of days, it continues to change and just get better.

A slightly dusty plum first note – then herbs and more red fruit and a slightly salty tang. The palate shows very supple fruit – redcurrants (?) and plums – lovely refreshing acidity and hints of spice but driven along by well integrated fruit – lovely.

Domaine Mas de Lavail Expression 2011 – Maury        16.5%          £15.50
100% old vine Grenache. Reeks of dark cherries, damsons, framboise liqueur, dried orange peel, dark chocolate and exotic spices, all rubbed into a favourite old leather-soled shoe! Further notes of molasses, honey and truffleand herbs. Plenty of tannin and a firm structure, with almost painfully delicious sweet/sour fruit flavours, augmented by notes of toffee and fig, whilst a rasp of juicy acidity keeps it all vibrant and fresh!

Deep but clear colour – from a single vintage, unusually fresh Maury. Notes of cherry and plum liqueur. Fabulous sweet fruit – cherries and a grainy chocolate notes, backed with fresh clean acidity and some tannic structure – like a lighter fresher vintage Port! Amazingly long and pleasurable and showing developing flavours  – later I found figs, and with that the suggestion of accompanying blue cheese… perfect with that or with a cherry and chocolate dessert concoction, or indeed as a dessert on its own…. Just fabulous!

A lovely tasting of an area evoking sunshine and rich flavours – Thanks Leon!