2005 Le Roc des Anges, Carignan de 1903
Although we have had many “old vines” wines in this club, we don’t think any of them came from 100+ year old vines. That’s right, this wine comes from a vineyard near the village of Montner in the upper Agly valley on the French side of the Pyrenees, originally planted in 1905. The winemaker is young star Marjorie Gallet, a cousin of the Gallet family of Côte-Rôtie, who founded her 32-acre “Rock of Angels” estate in 2001 at the age of 23. The name Le Roc des Anges is definitely appropriate, as the terrain is extremely steep and the soil is composed of old, dark, decomposing schists. The winemaking style is completely traditional and the estate certified as completely bio-dynamic. The wine is 100% Carignan, full-bodied and potent, lush and rich, ready to drink, without being overly alcoholic or tannic. Its high natural acidity makes it a great match with rich foods; duck a la orange comes to mind. At only $45, we think it compares favorably with the great Carignan-based wines of the Priorat near Barcelona (which are usually twice the price). It’s no surprise that Christophe Baron of Cayuse literally jumped with joy when he found the 2004 vintage of this wine in our shop. Although this vintage is no longer available in the market, we do have a few bottles left.
2007 Le Vieux Donjon, Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc
Although we have already put a Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc in the club this year, the wonderful 2005 Vieux Télégraphe Télégramme, we couldn’t pass up the latest release from Marie José and Lucien Michel of Le Vieux Donjon. After 30 years of exemplary winemaking, the Michel family is beginning to finally receive recognition as one of the top estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. (Their 2005 rouge, featured in our October 2007 club, was named #3 on this year’s Wine Spectator Top 100 list.) Their white is just as spectacular. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, and Roussanne, it features a nice, honeyed nose, with lovely flavors of citrus, melon, almond, and toast. Give it two to three years to coalesce, then enjoy it with poultry, pork, or seafood. It costs $60.00 and we do have a few extra bottles available.