Monday, September 01, 2008

2004 Domaine du Dragon COTES DE PROVENCE "Cuvee Saint-Michel" (Southern France)

Another "spoofulated," but good, wine in the "international" style, this time from the south of France. It doesn't say on the label, but I'm willing to bet this is largely composed of small barrel-aged Cabernet.* The south of France, and Provence in particular, was, along with Tuscany, one of the first European areas to heavily experiment in the 1970s with planting Cabernet Sauvignon (not a traditional varietal in that area, but, at the time, was as popular with the uninitiated as Merlot is now) and seeing what would happen. Domaine de Trevallon, Chateau Vignelaure, and Mas de Dumas Gaussac are three of the earliest and best-known of the experimenters.

Eye: Rich, saturated dark black ruby/mulberry color.

Nose: Shy and linear at first, with air time this wine developed a very nice nose that reminded me of an Australian Cabernet -- roasted herbs, toasty oak, and gobs of ripe, inky cassis and blackberry.

Mouth: Soft and concentrated, with very good depth but avoiding the sweet, jammy flavors and texture that sometime characterize Aussie Cabs. Full-bodied, with broad cassis and smoke flavors. Some soft but noticeable tannin in the long finish.

Score: 89.

Cellar or Drink? Delicious now, this wine should keep nicely for another 2-3 years in a cool cellar.

Price/store: Was about $15 at Spec's on Westheimer.

*UPDATE: I found the domaine's website, and it lists the blend for the 2004 vintage as: Syrah 50% - Cabernet Sauvignon 35% - Grenache 15%.

No comments: