Speaking to winemakers over the years, many have mentioned to me that bottling is their most stressful time. Harvest is busy, of course, but it's an exhilarating time. Bottling, on the other hand, is just pure stress.
This is sort of a belated introduction for this domaine: Château de Montfaucon has actually been producing wines and exporting to the U.S. market since the 1995 vintage, but distribution here has been limited at best.
Cork taint is not a fun issue for the wine industry to deal with. Cork producers have their business threatened by it. For wineries, the product they've worked hard to get from vine to bottle is threatened by it.
I actually tasted through the portfolio of 2007 wines from Tardieu-Laurent on day six of my most recent Rhône trip , but I wanted to file a separate entry on them, as there is more than a handful of wines, and they require some detail.
On my last day in the region, I scheduled just one visit—but I'm not slowing down. A visit with Michel Chapoutier takes a full day, as the portfolio of both the M. Chapoutier wines as well as the wines from Ferraton Père & Fils (which Chapoutier now owns outright) take a full day to work through.
There’s not much to Mauves: It’s a typical small town, located off a spur of the Route National 86 that runs down the west bank of the Rhône. Blink and you’ll miss it. But its diminutive nature belies the clutch of vignerons who are based there, a quartet of some of the best names in the St.
Cornas is a fascinating appellation. Often misunderstand and/or overlooked, its Syrahs are thoroughly unique in profile thanks to the appellation's dramatically different terroir (as opposed to Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie).
Insiders know that these two Southern Rhône appellations, Gigondas and Vacqueyras, located about a 30 minutes' drive northeast of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, are home to gutsy, mouthfilling reds at often attractive prices.
It's Sunday. No days off here. As if to rub it in, Mother Nature returned to her surly ways: It's gray, cold and rainy today after a spate of bright, mistral-driven weather for most of the week. A little while back we ran a reader letter that related a story about their car being broken into in Châteauneuf, and the rather tepid response they got from local law enforcement.
I could spend a full week, even two in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and still not get to visit everyone I'd like. But at some point you have to head into the outlying appellations, where some very good wine is also being made.
I think there's a famous quote that goes: Woe unto he who cries "Hold, enough Châteauneuf!" … or something like that. Anyway, another five visits today before heading out into some of the Southern Rhône's other appellations.
Mother Nature is showing off a wonderful yin-yang these past two days. The air is brisk and cool and the smell of the chauffage , or burning of old vines in the vineyards, fills the air. Winter hasn't let go yet, but the almond trees have flowered and the sun has turned bright and strong, warming my face.
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