Here are my notes from a recent tasting put on by JC Mathes of J et R Selections, a smallish importer who specializes in wines from small domaines in the Rhône Valley, with a few domaines from elsewhere in France. All told, they import 140 different domaines, and IMO generally bring in wines of character and value. Last night's wines:
2001 Dom. des Fortiéres Beaujolais-Villages
nose: slightly corked (but less than the previous bottle that they
opened -- not a good sign), with a touch of heat and light fruitiness
palate: tart upon entry, light berryish fruit and finishes thin
This was being offered for ~$5, but even at that price not much of a
bargain. JC spoke about the commitment of the domaine to traditional
vinification, but when compared to Terres Dorees it just doesn't
1999 Thibert Pouilly-Fuissé
nose: butterscotch and minerals
palate: slightly creamy entry, with modest pineapple and lemon fruit
At the price it was offered for (~$11), it makes for a decent Chardonnay
for near term drinking, though not a big scale wine at all.
1999 Seguinot-Bordet Chablis Vielles Vignes
nose: toasty, leesy elements with a hint of fruit showing
palate: more leesy notes with lemon in the finish
Another modestly priced Chardonnay (~$15), but not my cup of Chablis.
I've been spoiled by Dauvissat, alas, and there's just no going back...
Then, on to the Rhone:
2000 La Tourade Côtes du Rhône
nose: bananas (!!) and bright red fruit
palate: slightly gamey upon entry, with acids and red fruit in the
midpalate, before a moderately tannic finish
Somewhat bizzare for CdR. I tried to find out if they were using
"maceration carbonique" but didn't get a chance. That nose sure put me
in mind of wines of that ilk, though.
1999 La Tourade Vacqueyras
nose: gamey , cherries, smoke
palate: acidic on entry, giving way to cherry fruit and medium body,
giving way to gaminess in the finish.
Now this is more like it (at ~$15)! Made from 80/10/10
Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre (as are all their Gigondas cuveés), it has that
funkiness that I associate with Vacqueyras (guaranteed to turn Jean off
in a heartbeat). Quite a nice value.
2000 La Tourade Vacqueyras
nose: gamey, cherries
palate: softer on entry than the '99, rich fruit in the midpalate before
an acidic finish.
Softer and simpler than the '99, but still a decent wine. Between the
two, however, I preferred the '99.
1999 La Tourade Gigondas
nose: slightly floral, with minerals, cherry and smoke
palate: acidic entry, cherry, gaminess, with mild tannins and acid in
This cuvée was made from younger vines, but still has substance and
character. Quite typical of Gigondas (IMO) and a decent bargain at $18.
2000 La Tourade Gigondas
nose: cherry and minerals
palate: acidic, slightly thinner and less appealing than the '99, but
similar in character
1998 La Tourade Gigondas Cuvée Font des Aieux
nose: deep cherry fruit
palate: pencil lead, tannins in the midpalate, modestly fruity
Similar in many ways to a decent CdP, this wine didn't have quite enough
fruit to go with the still substantial tannins.
2000 La Tourade Gigondas Cuvée Font des Aieux
nose: some heat, and oak(??) with deep cherry fruit
palate: rich mouthfeel, lots of cherryish fruit and a tannic finish
This was the biggest of the Gigondas stable, but also more expensive
(~$24). This one might develop into something very interesting in a few
2000 La Tourade Gigondas Cuvée Morgan
nose: licorice and volatile esters
palate: licorice, cedar, red fruit and an oaky finish
This, according to JC, is the domaine's bow to American taste: Gigondas
aged in new barriques. JC only imports it because his customers love it
(he doesn't). I'm with JC: this is closer to Zin or Aussie Shiraz than
Of all the Gigondas tasted from this producer, the '99 regular cuvée and
the 2000 Font des Aieux stood out. It would have been fun to try the
'99 Font des Aieux as I generally preferred the wines from that year,
but it wasn't available.
1999 Grand Tinel Chateauneuf du Pape
nose: leather, tobacco and some fruit underneath
palate: rich mouthfeel, cherry fruit, before a clean finish
A very nice CdP selling for a Gigondas price (~$25). After the earlier
wines, this came across as big and rich. Yum!
1999 Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape
nose: gamey, leather and seaweed
palate: slightly alcholic on entry, giving way to deep cherry fruit and
an acidic finish
Yes, this is the same wine I tasted last week! (5 wines from J et R at
the last tasting) If you go back and read my notes from that tasting,
you'll see why I'm not a professional wine reviewer. ;-) Good stuff,
2001 Domaine du Pégaü Chateauneuf du Pape
nose: slightly corked (dammit! it was the last bottle, too), flowers
and fruit beneath
palate: big wine, lots of cherry and berryish fruit, tannic and tarry
before a 60 second finish.
WOW! I can only imagine what this wine would have been like if it
hadn't been corked, but still impressive. I missed out on the 2000
Pégaü, but as I had it at last year's J et R tasting, I wasn't too torn
up. People who had both were largely more favorable about the 2000,
but it could simply be that it was a year softer (actually, the 2000 is
probably bigger IIRC). The only thing not to like is the price ($48),
but that's the price of success...
Overall, a great tasting put on by a great guy (JC). The wines were
generally of quite high quality, with lots of personality and very
reasonably priced wines. As they are now distributed in over a dozen
states in the US (see the website for names) these are wines worth
- posted 16 years ago