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stirring the lees with james molesworth archive

Photo by: David Yellen
James Molesworth
Archives

November 2010

Day 7 in Gigondas: Location, Location, Location
It’s a short walk to Thierry Faravel’s cellar, but a steep one, up the hill above the town of Gigondas
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 11:00am ET

In recent years, quality in Gigondas has risen steadily due largely to one reason: Warmer and later-running harvests have become the norm in the area, due to climate change. This has had a dramatic effect on the ability of the vineyards planted in higher altitude terraces, set amidst the Dentelles de Montmirail (the dramatic limestone outcroppings that define the appellation) to ripen fully, both for the main variety, Grenache, as well as the even later-ripening Mourvèdre.

Today I tasted at Domaine La Bouïssiere and St.-Cosme.


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Day 6 in the Rhône: Time to Head for the Hills
Time to head out from Châteauneuf-du-Pape and into the hills of Gigondas
Posted: Nov 24, 2010 11:02am ET

I'm back in France's Rhône Valley to taste the potentially stellar 2009 vintage, concentrating on the Southern Rhône domaines this time. Today I broke away from Châteauneuf-du-Pape and headed into the hills, starting first with Gigondas. Arguably the prettiest village in the Southern Rhône, Gigondas sits on a dramatic hillside, below the striking Dentelles de Montmirail rock formation. I visited Pierre Amadieu, Domaine Santa Duc and Domaine Raspail-Ay today.


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Day 5 in the Rhône: The Good Old Boys, Some Old School and the Queens of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Visits at Domaine de Beaurenard, Domaine St.-Préfert, Domaine du Pégaü and more
Posted: Nov 22, 2010 12:00pm ET

I'm back in France's Rhône Valley to taste the potentially stellar 2009 vintage, concentrating on the Southern Rhône domaines this time. Today I tasted the 2009s at Domaine de Beaurenard, Domaine St.-Préfert, Domaine du Pégaü and Pontifical.


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Day 4 in the Rhône: You Call That a Blend? This is a Blend!
Châteauneuf-du-Pape has 13 varieties? Big deal. I know a guy with 15
Posted: Nov 19, 2010 12:19pm ET

I'm back in France's Rhône Valley to taste the potentially stellar 2009 vintage, concentrating on the Southern Rhône domaines this time. Today I tasted the 2009s of the three labels currently charged by Marc Perrin and his family, including Château de Beaucastel. I also visited Domaine de Marcoux and Domaine de Villeneuve, but I started the day at Château de Montfaucon, where a mighty blend is in the cellar.


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Day 3 in the Rhône: Five Family Estates, from Modern to Old School to Reborn
A full day of tasting the 2009 vintage at Domaines de la Solitude, de Cristia, de la Charbonnière, Château de Vaudieu and Clos des Brusquières
Posted: Nov 17, 2010 10:19am ET

I'm back in France's Rhône Valley to taste the potentially stellar 2009 vintage, concentrating on the Southern Rhône domaines this time. Today's agenda includes Domaines de la Solitude, de Cristia, de la Charbonnière, Château de Vaudieu and Clos des Brusquières.


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Day 2 in the Rhône: Big Names and Small
From the iconic Clos des Papes to boutiques Giraud and Moulin-Tacussel, I tasted the 2009 Châteauneufs at four domaines
Posted: Nov 15, 2010 10:19am ET

I'm back in France's Rhône Valley to taste the potentially stellar 2009 vintage, concentrating on the Southern Rhône domaines this time (I last visited with Northern Rhône vignerons in March, tasting the 2008 and 2009 vintages). On my first day back I tasted the 2009s from Vieux Télégraphe, F. & D. Brunier, Les Pallières and La Roquète with Daniel Brunier, then spent the afternoon at Domaine Font de Michelle. Today's agenda includes Clos des Papes, Moulin-Tacussel, Domaine Giraud and Roger Sabon.


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Day 1 in the Rhône: Just a Warm-Up
Tasting the 2009 lineups from Daniel Brunier's Vieux Télégraphe, F. & D. Brunier, Les Pallières and La Roquète estates, then on to Font de Michelle
Posted: Nov 11, 2010 10:19am ET

I'm back in France's Rhône Valley. After flying overnight, landing before sunrise and then catching the three-and-a-half-hour TGV down to Avignon, one might be a little tired. No excuses for me though: I had to go meet with a vigneron who'd just run the ING New York City Marathon. (Thanks for making us look bad, Daniel!) And after Vieux Télégraphe and Daniel Brunier's other estates, it was off to Domaine Font de Michelle.


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Another Trip to the Rhône
This trip will focus on the potentially outstanding 2009 vintage in the Southern Rhône
Posted: Nov 9, 2010 10:19am ET

No sooner was I back from the rush of our annual Wine Experience in Las Vegas at the end of October, and it was time to head out to France's Rhône Valley again. I’ll be focusing on the Southern Rhône this time and will be tasting the 2009 vintage primarily.


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A Sit-Down with Alfred Tesseron
The experienced owner of Château Pontet-Canet feels he is still learning his vineyard
Posted: Nov 1, 2010 3:05pm ET

As the owner of the well-respected Château Pontet-Canet, Alfred Tesseron has been around the block. I sat down with him here at my office today to talk about his latest efforts at the Pauillac property. After 30-plus years at the helm of Pontet-Canet, Tesseron is raising eyebrows with his conversion to biodynamic farming.


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