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I can’t stop thinking about the Rhone, since I came back home. One of the highlights of my trip was the incredible supper that I had at the resto Le Mangevins, the day in the fair that we were at Hermitage. Nothing better than a great supper with some passionate wine colleagues and sharing some good tables and cracking a laugh or two. Here are some of the bottles that we share together on that magical evening.

Sketchy wine notes:

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David Reynaud Crozes-Hermitage 2015

Domaine les Bruyères is located  in Crozes-Hermitage at Beaumont-Monteux below the Hermitage hill in the Northern Rhone Valley.

The domaine is made up of 14.5 hectares in Crozes-Hermitage, and an additional 5.5 spreadin local villages amongst the Rhone hills. The vines grown in the domaine range between 20 – 50 years, of which the majority is biodynamic. Reynaud also has small plantations of Marsanne, Roussanne, Merlot and Viognier. The estate is 100 % biodynamic

Made from majority Marsanne with a little Roussanne. Aged mostly in cement egg with a third in  old and new barrel with a little lees stirring. Lovely, perfumed apricot with freshly picked peach nuances and a bounty of anis Full body and structured with spices and more floral nuances. Great and long mineral finish.

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Saint Peray 2013- Francois Villard

Francois Villard has established a solid reputation in the tiny Saint Peray appellation. The marsanne for this cuvee, grow in decomposed granite and argyle soils. This bottle that bear his name was aged 18 months in barrel.

An stellar white as well. Lavender, cloves, nutmeg, hazelnut and with lots of peach jam character. On the mouth, racy and mineral with an incredible freshness.  A finale that brings to mind roasted almonds

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Domaine du Chene Condrieu 2015

In 1985, Marc and Dominique Rouvière purchased a 5.5 hectare property in Chavanay in the center of Condrieu in the Northern Rhône, which they named Domaine du Chêne. They now own 16 hectares of vineyards with an average vine age of 35 years. They have three hectares of Viognier and seven hectares of Syrah in Saint Joseph

Stunning bouquet. Nectarines, with classy apricot touches  and nuances of  vanilla bean, Extremely exhuberant.  On the mouth, round and viscous with honey-lavender and creme brulee flavors. Very fresh finale.

 

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Dard and Ribo Crozes Hermitage, C’est le Printemps 2015

This was the star bottle of the evening. I got to now this producer by passionate wine fellow blogger from Finland, Sanna who wrote a wonderful piece on Dard and Ribo in her post: Gems of Northern Rhone, Part I: Dard and Ribo.

For additional information on this magical producer, please check it out the site of US importer, Louis Dressner. If I was on a desert island, I would bring a bottle of this wine with the novel: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, who recently passed away.

First impressions were of dark red wine, with stylized black pepper notes and raspberry sorbet that lingers in your nose finishing in a note feature in a musical black licorice note. Dont be fooled by the freshness of this wine, it has enough energy and vitality to stand in a decade in your cellar. A finale that brings to mind Tar, wild boar skin and an aftertaste that last for seconds. If you ever encounter this wine, buy by the magnum.

 

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Pierre Gaillard Clos de Cuminaille Saint Joseph 2014

The Clos de Cuminaille is one of the best terroirs of Saint-Joseph. It’s an east-facing, walled, single vineyard on Chavanay’s granite soils and each year it produces one of the most distinctive wines of the appellation.

When Gaillard bought this 3-hectare site, he passed on the opportunity to buy the now renowned La Turque vineyard in Côte-Rôtie, a site that he had helped to  plant. He simply believed the Clos de Cuminaille was the better site, which gives you an idea of why it yields such exciting wines.

Pure and enticing ripe black fruits. Violet confit and pipe tobacco. On the mouth, racy, elegant and very peppery. Amazing coca and coffee aftertaste. 

The food at Le Mangevins is quite amazing. Quite hidden in the town of Tain L’Hermitage, the resto offers simple yet well executed dishes. The resto is run by Keiko Yamada, and elegant Japanese chef whose elegant  techniques with premium  local ingredients make an explosion in your palate. The wine list is curated by her husband Vincent Dollat.  This is a wine lovers mine for Rhone lovers as the wine list feature many older Rhone vintages at very affordable prices.

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A lovely dish of seared scallops with oyster mushrooms and green peas cream.

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A succulent dish of seared lamb chomps with wild green asparagus in a wine reduction was also stunning with an Hermitage from Domaine Belle 2015