I can’t have enough transforming wine in my cellar; tannins melting and fruit evolving creating advanced and sensually pleasing characteristics to be enjoyed down the line. I am hooked on it. But inventory and time is money and it makes sense to seek out efficient cellaring strategies. Buoyed by just enough concurrence from fellow Rhone fans on the heels of my last post on laying down Cotes Du Rhone, I continue to explore the market for potentially age worthy 2007 versions. Two wines showed themselves as great ambassadors of the monumental 2007 vintage and one, Delas Freres Saint-Esprit Cotes du Rhone, could be a candidate for longer term cellaring while the other, Domaine de Monpertuis la Ramiere, is a fruit bomb that appears a better bet for shorter term drinking and cellaring.
The Monpertuis is a Rosenthal import , a badge reflecting wines primarily crafted in the vineyard followed by minimal winemaker manipulation. It is an “in your face” fruit smash of cherries, raspberry and spice on the nose that you might expect to find in a 90% Grenache/10% Syrah cuvee. The characteristic that turns my head is the softer accompanying tannins that are only as intrusive as they need be and allow full appreciation of the depth and roundness of the Grenache fruit. It finishes with only a touch of heat. It could be a gamble to count on this wine to provide any more enjoyment 10-20 years down the line considering the amazing fruit forward pleasure it offers now.
The Delas is a 75% Syrah/25% Grenache blend that comes with a pure and balanced presentation showing rich black cherry, blackberry, and pepper with herbs lurking in the background. The wine has a long finish and feels well constructed. There is no mistaking that this is a cuvee composed by dominantly Rhone Syrah fruit. Excitedly, I am almost as comfortable laying this wine down as I have been with some of my Cote Roties and Hermitage.
Both of these wines sell at retail in the $10-$12 range. Both are really rewarding wines for immediate drinking, yet the prospect of laying a case of Delas down for 15 years feels like I am beating the system. I like that.