Last night, we hosted another tasting with winemakers whose wines are imported by Kermit Lynch. For a cold, snowy evening, the turn-out was pretty impressive. Both Ghislaine Dupeuble, representing her family's property, Domaine Dupeuble (which has been making wine in Beaujolais since 1512!), and Cyriaque Rozier, who makes his own wines under the label Les Traverses de Fontanes and is the winemaker for Chateau La Roque (both properties located in the Languedoc), told us they had a great time meeting our "heureux" customers.
The wines were showing beautifully. If you're curious about what exactly Beaujolais is about, start with Dupeuble. Their Nouveau this year is as good as it gets, and it won't be around much longer. Their regular cuvee, which is made from older vines on their property, is THE wine to have on the table with basic bistro-type fare, and seems to get better every year. Cyriaque's wines, are, well, terrific as well, and also great values. His Les Traverses de Fontanes Cabernet Sauvignon showcases Cab fruit, but with real finesse. It was cool to watch a few regular fans of this wine pick it up; then see their reaction when they learned the winemaker was conducting an in-store tasting.
The La Roque white wine we were pouring, Cuvee Clos des Benedictins, a blend of equal parts Rolle (aka Vermentino) and Marsanne, with the remainder Roussanne, raised in half new oak, is a case in point for how and why new oak can be a very good thing indeed. It's a shame it's so often misused to make fake and/or bad wines. The hit of the evening, though, was the wine most people tasted last, La Roque's old vines Mourvedre. Its pepper, spice nose and lovely kirsch, plummy notes impress. Looking forward to having it soon with grilled lamb seasoned with Provencal herbs.
Jacques Figuette, the owner of Chateau La Roque, spent much of the evening eagerly investigating our selection of wines and spirits.