The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

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FRANCe tannins and a touch of menthol, while deeply-colored Duras, with supple tannins and peppery, spicy flavors is preferred for rosé. The Plageoles are credited with recovering the last remaining vines of Prunelart at an ampelographic conser- vatory in nearby Marseillan, and the variety is now being cultivated by sev- eral of the region’s young winemakers. Blending was introduced in Gaillac in 2003, and red wine styles benefit most from the layering of complex flavors. At Château de Rhodes, winemaker Agathe Catinat makes several expressive blends of Duras, Braucol and Syrah. New Releases from Southwestern France Les Vignes Retrouvées 2008 Saint- Mont (SRP $16) Delicate aromas of white flowers, ripe pomolo zest, con- centrated minerality and dry extract on the mid-palate with a lengthy finish enhanced by stirring and sur lie aging; 60% Gros Manseng, 20% Petit Corbu, 20% Arrufiac. WINESELLERS LTD. Plaimont Cooperative 2007 Madiran “1907” ($15) Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky and medium-bodied with blackberry and mulberry aromas and flavors, black olive and black spices complement round and decidedly sweet-wooded tannins. Gaillac’s unique varieties are emerging from obscurity in the hands of produc- ers like Bernard Plageoles of Domaine des Tres Cantous. Marcillac One of the region’s youngest appella- tions, Marcillac lies east of Cahors and is home to Fer Servadou, or Mansois, as it is known locally, and Braucol further west in Gaillac. Distinctive iron oxide-rich rougiers soils result in a singular expression of Fer with deep color, lean red currant and raspberry flavors, granular tannins and distinct iron-laced minerality. While up to ten percent of Cabernet Sauvignon is allowed, producers like Domaine Laurens and Domaine du Cros eschew blending, which results in wines of absolute typicity. 106 / the tasting panel / april 2010 WINESELLERS LTD. Domaine Berthoumieu 2005 Madiran “Charles de Batz” ($19) 90% Tannat, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon Opaque black in color with robust amounts of fruit and tannin. Rich blackberry and cassis mid-palate, well-integrated oak and a long, tannin- driven finish show loads of potential. VINTAGE 59 Tariquet Classic 2009 ($9) Oceanique terroir produces floral and citrus notes that are well concen- trated on the palate with crisp yellow apple and bright, tangy minerality on the finish; 60% Ugni Blanc, 40% Colombard. ROBERT KACHER SELECTIONS Domaine des Tres Cantous 2008 Gaillac “Le Prunelart” ($20) Soft with earthy blackberry and fresh prune fruit, cinnamon and spice on the mid-palate and a complex finish; 100% Prunelart. CHARLES NEAL SELECTIONS Château de Rhodes 2006 Gaillac Rouge ($12) Complex aromas of black fruit and bay leaf, dark cherry and black pepper mid-palate with lean, structured tannins and earthy, min- eral-driven finish; 40% Duras, 26% Braucol, 14% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot. USA WINE WEST Château Plaisance 2008 Fronton “Thibaut” ($15) Named after the winegrower’s son, this cuvée spends 18 months in second-use oak and has deep, black raspberry aromas, a mid-palate that is meaty and dense with rich, spicy tannins and black licorice on the finish; 80% Negrette, 20% Syrah. USA WINE WEST La Roc Folle 2008 Frontons “Noir d’Ambat” ($14) Playfully called the “crazy black,” this cuvée hails from a unique site with ferrous clay soils that produces notes of smoky, provocative black olive, massive mid-palate black plum with a concentrated, graphite finish; 100% Negrette. CHARLES NEAL SELECTIONS

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