This wine….it’s serious business!

This wine….it’s serious business!

Posted on Jan, 24. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

Okay, so that subject line was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but in all earnestness, what I’m writing to you about today is a serious wine! There’s no whimsy here, no room in the bottle for dalliance or aimlessness – it is a wine that strikes fear and awe in the hearts of men, and lust in their womenfolk.

And it’s only 11 bucks.

Awhile back, I grabbed a couple bottles of the Domaine La Blaque (Coteaux de Pierrevert) from Garagiste, an email wine merchant out of Seattle. Their description of the wine was pretty hyperbolic (click here to see for yourself), but what really caught my eye was a reference to David Schildknecht (from the Wine Advocate) remarking that it is “Cornas for $15”. Now, of course, the prefix “baby-” is overused and overwrought. “It’s a baby Chateauneuf!” No, no it’s not. But I digress; that’s a discussion for another time. Here’s what Schildknecht said about the 2007 La Blaque:

“Situated in the Alpes de Haute Provence, the obscure appellation of Coteaux de Pierrevert is capable of generating some striking, remarkably late-harvested results with Syrah. The La Blaque 2007 Coteaux de Pierrevert represents most of the production of the estate, and that is great news, because it offers striking personality and sensational value. Vividly recalling Cornas (as is this appellation’s want) in its combination of ripe black cherry and raw beef liver tinged with cinnamon, this displays mouth-filling fruit as befits wine made by a variation of carbonic maceration, yet there is a pleasant graininess as well. Black tea, cocoa powder, iodine, and savory shrimp shell notes are revealed as the wine opens up, culminating in a finish of remarkable richness and grip for a tank-rendered wine of its price. Enjoy it over the next two years. 90pts

The 2008 that I have in my cellar is phenomenal, one of the best deals I’ve gotten from Garagiste and truly one of the most unique and classic wines I’ve had under $30. So, when I recently saw a sample of the 2009 come into the Guild, I jumped on it. Now, to be fair, this is the one and only Pierrevert wine I’ve come across, but it’s got me intrigued to see what this region can do. It’s a rare occurrence, a wine of such solidity, such seriousness and stoicism – the last time I had a wine like this was at the Cote Rotie tasting last year (for a little context here:

Cornas and Cote Rotie are regions in the northernmost part of the Rhone valley that produce only red wines made from Syrah and a little Viogner. They are widely accepted as some of the, if not the best expressions of Syrah on the planet – and the prices reflect that status). The La Blaque, coming from the Alpes de Haute Provence (still in the Provence, but up in the Alps at such an elevation that getting proper ripeness takes time), can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those wines and be right at home. Big, ripe/dried fruit, black as night, as dense as French Syrah gets, and packed to the gills with character while never losing its precision or purpose. Round tannic grip, plenty of bright acid, and an energetic, icy finish. Now, it’s certainly not going to be mistaken for La Landonne, which has such depth that its $300 price tag isn’t out of line, but you can get a couple cases of the La Blaque for less than what a single bottle of a La La will set you back. Much as I love Cote Rotie, my bank account can’t handle me drinking it very often. That’s where the La Blaque comes in…it truly is Cote Rotie/Cornas for a touch over $10! I’m giddy…

P.S. – This wine demands decanting! Give it a couple hours of air if you can.

2009 Domaine La Blaque Coteaux de Pierrevert
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $11.00 • Premier Cru: $11.50 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $15.00
Buy Now!

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