Rifling through The Rhone Report’s latest issue. Lots of wonderful notes from the Northern Rhône (Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, St. Joseph, Cornas, Condrieu) from producers such as Jean-Louis Chave, Chapoutier, Guigal, Jaboulet, Georges Vernay, Auguste Clape, amongst many others, to peruse.
In a huge issue that also covers the Southern Rhône, South of France, Spain and much more, the La Pèira 2010 garnered some of the top marks among reviewed French releases.
Text and reviews from the issue follow:
On La Pèira
“The Sine Qua Non of the Languedoc? La Pèira en Damaisèla continues to knock it out of the park and in my view, is the leading estate in all of the Languedoc and Roussillon. While not shrinking violets and certainly ripe, large scaled efforts, the wines have a beautiful purity and elegance about them that keeps you coming back to the glass. I reviewed both of the 2010s here from barrel, and I was thrilled to see them show so well from bottle. In addition, the tiny production Mourvèdre blend, Matissat, is more than a little impressive. Don’t miss a chance to taste it.”
2010 La Pèira en Damaisèla Terrasses du Larzac La Pèira Red 99
Similarly styled, yet with even more purity, concentration, and delineation, the 2010 La Pèira is incredible any way you look at it and easily the greatest wine I’ve tasted from the Languedoc to date. Comprised of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache and aged in 60% new French oak, it possesses spectacular aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, chocolate, wild herbs, crème brûlée, and liquid flowers to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, and voluptuously styled palate that is perfectly balanced, has no hard edges, and blockbuster length on the finish. Just about as good as wine gets, with incredible freshness as well as masses of tannin that emerge on the finish, this borderline perfect wine can be consumed now, or anytime over the coming two decades. As with the Las Flors de La Pèira, I followed this bottle for multiple days and it was even more impressive on the second day. (99 pts.)
2010 La Pèira en Damaisèla Terrasses du Larzac Las Flors de La Pèira Red 94
The 2010 Las Flors de La Pèira is a rich, full-throttle effort that almost gushes fruit. A blend of 55% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault that was aged in 25% new French oak, it has an inky purple color that’s followed by a sweet bouquet of crème de cassis, damp earth, pepper, new leather, and chocolate-like nuances. Medium to full-bodied and decadent on the palate, with good acidity, a chewy, unctuous, yet seamless texture, and a great finish, it is a powerhouse that will age effortlessly for 10-12 years, if not longer. I followed this bottle for two days and it was even fresher and more impressive on day two, so don’t be afraid to give it some air if drinking anytime soon. (94 pts.)
2011 La Pèira en Damaisèla Terrasses du Larzac Les Obriers de La Pèira Red 91
From one of the top estates in the Languedoc, the 2011 Les Obriers is an intriguing blend of 65% Cinsault and 35% Carignan that spent 18 to 24 months in barrel prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It displays a finesse oriented profile with notions of red and black fruits, old leather, rose petal, and background herbs carrying through the medium-bodied, seamless, and decidedly polished palate that has integrated, yet racy acidity keeping everything focused nicely. Turning more and more floral and elegant with air, it’s a beautiful wine that will drink nicely for 4-6 years. (91 pts.)
Copyright © 2013 The Rhone Report Jeb Dunnuck: http://therhonereport.com/
The White | Deusyls de la Pèira
2011 Deusyls de la Pèira White 94
Quite possibly the top white I was able to taste from the entire region, the 2011 Deusyls de la Pèira, a blend mainly Viognier yet with a splash of Roussanne, would give a top Condrieu a run for its money. Beautiful on the nose, with sweet apricot and peach driven fruit intermixed with flowers, butter crème, toasted nut, and spice, it flows onto the palate with thrilling richness that never seems heavy or cumbersome in the least. Full-bodied, voluptuously textured, and brilliantly focused and long on the finish, it is a superb white that should not be missed. (94 pts.) Copyright © 2013 The Rhone Report Jeb Dunnuck: http://therhonereport.com/
Matissat (Pure Mourvèdre)
2009 Matissat La Pèira Terrasses du Larzac Red 96
The most complete and tasting like a mix of the ’07 and ’08, with the purity and freshness of the ’08 and some (not all) of the richness found in the ’07, the 2009 Matissat is a pure, classically built Mourvèdre that offers beautiful black raspberry and cassis styled fruit intermixed with wild herbs, tree bark, liquid flower, and blood. Full-bodied, seamless, and incredibly elegant, with perfect balance, clean, integrated acidity, and brilliant precision on the finish, it too can be consumed now or cellared for 15+ years. (96 pts.)
2008 Matissat La Pèira Terrasses du Larzac Red 92
More fresh and lively aromatically, with pretty berry fruit, pepper, basil, wet stone like minerality, and salty sea breeze like aromas and flavors, the 2008 Matissat is a more classic, streamlined version of the 2007. Full-bodied, beautifully fresh, focused, and pure, yet still with superb backend concentration and voluptuousness, it is a gorgeous 2008 that will drink nicely for 12-15 years. (92 pts.)
2007 Matissat La Pèira Terrasses du Larzac Red 94
A blend of 100% Mourvèdre that comes from the same plot as the vines for the top cuvee, La Pèira, the 2007 Matissat sports a deep purple color to go with backwards, almost brooding aromas of smoked black currants, plum sauce, violets, herbed game, hickory, and dark chocolate on the nose. Full-bodied and incredibly mineral-driven on the palate, with a saliva inducing salty, almost blood-like quality, this awesome wine has a seamless texture, fantastic concentration and extract, and a tannic, blockbuster finish that goes on for seemingly over a minute. Not your grandmother’s Mourvèdre, this singular beauty needs a solid decant if drinking anytime soon and will have two decades or more of total longevity. (94 pts.) Copyright © 2013 The Rhone Report Jeb Dunnuck: http://therhonereport.com/
Recent vintages summary for the region
“There’s no denying the region has had a string of superb vintages, and there are certainly high level traits that appear. A hot vintage, 2009 continues to impress and the wines taste better today than they did on release. Similarly styled to 2007, yet less concentrated, the wines have upfront, perfumed profiles, with notable, and sometimes dry, tannin. A step up and a fantastic vintage, 2010 as a whole had cooler weather which shows in the wines darker fruit profile, brighter acidity, and overall rich, yet pure mouth-feel…2011 was more erratic, yet is also superb and certainly a step up from 2008. The wines show softer, more supple, and approachable profiles than both ’09 and ’10.”
Copyright © 2013 The Rhone Report Jeb Dunnuck.
The Rhone Report is Jeb Dunnuck’s quarterly newsletter covering the wines and grapes of the Rhône Valley and elsewhere. The full report is extensive in both its coverage of regions and producers. Just even proofreading this issue must have been a large task.
A PDF of all recent Jeb Dunnuck reviews is here: Jeb Dunnuck – Recent Reviews
Jeb Dunnuck’s La Pèira 2006-2010 vintages reviews are here:
Jeb Dunnuck – La Pèira reviews 2006-2010
Jeb Dunnuck’s Las Flors de la Pèira 2005-2010 vintages reviews are here: Jeb Dunnuck’s Las Flors de la Pèira 2005-2010
For the full report click here: http://therhonereport.com/