2018 Domaine d’Aupilhac Lou Maset Rose Languedoc

So as the world waits for Montpeyroux to receive Grand Cru status, for now, the wines from this hamlet just 29 kilometers outside of Montpellier have to know them as Languedoc or Terrases de Lazac. So be it, as nothing takes away from the high end of quality wines that Sylvain Fadat has been producing for now almost 30 years at his village winery, Domaine D’Aupilhac. His newest wine, the 2018 D’Aupilhac Lou Maset Rose is just a killer. 

Made from 50 percent Mourvedre, with the balance Cinsault and Syrah, the dark pink wine is almost a lighter shade of Ruby in color. Here’s a jam packed blackberry, raspberry and blueberry flavored Rose that stands up to roasted peppers, or cheese, as well as being able to be enjoyed all by itself.

That’s why, the  2018 D’Aupilhac Lou Maset Rose is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day,

2018 Domaine de La Tour du Bon

In Bandol, only five percent of the wines produced are white, with the rest being rose and red. That means the opportunity to drink white Bandol, like Beaujolais Blanc, is best done when in the region, as the choices are more plentiful, and often more available when dining out.

Domaine de La Tour du Bon produces one of those whites that is very worthy of knowing about. Made from Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Rolle, the 2018 La Tour du Bon Blanc is a mineral based white wine that has the aromas of fresh flowers fields in full bloom, some star Anise, the subtleness of lemon zest, grapefruit, oranges, and pineapple fruit.

It’s a lovely white wine that is as at home all by itself, as it is with swordfish or tuna tartare, or even a nice hard cheese or soft chevre.

That’s why the 2018 La Tour du Bon Blanc is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day.D

Domaine Vintur L’Effervescence

Part of the fun of doing deep dives into wine regions, like France’s Ventoux, is the opportunity to make new discoveries of wines from producers bubbling under the radar of many. 

Take James Wood, who has over the past decade been mastering his craft at Domaine Vintur, at the base of the famed Tour De France hill climb location, Mount Ventoux.

Vintur makes impeccable pink, red and white wines of lovely character and distinction, but it was the bubbly, affectionately named L’Effervescence, that just simply sparkled at Decouvertes du Rhone and at the Ventoux Rising OFF.

Made from 85% Bouboulenc and 15% Roussanne, the Effervescence clocks in at a lowly 11.5 percent of alcohol, making this an ideal summer poolside bubbly, or fantastic base for yummy mimosas made with papaya or mangos.

Vinified so there’s zero residual sugar, the Effervescence’s lively palate of dancing fruit charm gives off flavors of sub-tropical oranges, lemons, and nectarines, plus a good swift kick of ripe honeydew melon.

And that’s why the Domaine Vintur Effervescence is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!

2018 Chene Bleu La Rose

One of the most anticipated times of the year is the release of Rose wines for me. Each year I look forward to the arrival of some of the most charming, spring and summer friendly wines on the planet, and that’s spelled R O S E  for me.

While the California Rose wines are hitting the shelves, so too are some of the best of France finding their way across the water, while some are just hitting the docks.

One of those that makes my mouthwater is the 2018 Chene Bleu La Rose. 

It’s a harmonious blend of high Rhone Valley Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Rolle. The Chene Bleu comes through with that light pale pink Provencale color that defines Rose in places like Saint Tropez. But that’s where it just starts. 

Like the 2017 vintage, the strawberry, raspberry, dried limes and white spice and bone dry style of the wine makes this a killer evening starter, but when matched up with shellfish, spicy food, smoked meats or cheese, this year’s Rose wine really takes hold.

The 2018 Chene Bleu La Rose is as serious of a Rose as it gets, and that’s why it’s today’s WineSiders’ Rose of The Day!!!

2017 Celler del Roure Safra

A new wine discovery is always a thrill. That was how it was with the 2017 Celler del Roure Safra, a wine produced in Spain’s Valencia region.

Made from Mandó and Garnacha Tintorera (which is often thought to be Alicante Bouschet). It is first fermented by natural yeasts in large stone lagars and stainless steel tanks then aged for 6 months in clay amphorae.  While Grenache is so much the wine of the Rhone, this type of Garnacha is very different, with a lighter, more fruit forward style, drawing some memories of the easy to drink Clos de Gilroy from Bonny Doon’s days gone past. 

Talk about a different, game changing wine. Wow. It’s pure hedonistic enjoyment with layer upon layer of ripe red and blue fruit flavors. It’s a wine that yields well to pork dishes, but would go well with sharp machango cheese or layered BBQ.

That’s why the 2017 Celler del Roure Safra is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!


2017 Domaine du Tunnel Saint Peray Roussanne

The Domaine du Tunnel Saint Peray Roussanne is one of those deceptive wines that starts dumb and ends up smart. Your taste it at first and it is simply just a subdued white wine. Then about ten to fifteen minutes in the glass it just knocks you over with the mineral base, the crispness of the body and the rich layer of dried apricots, white pears and a hint of violets.

The wine has a vibrancy that gets awakened by food, like a leafy green salad or a hunk of chèvre. As vibrant and complex as it is, the wine has a ton of subtle nuances that are both charming and endearing.

When it comes to Northern Rhône producers, you can always trust Tunnel for Stephane Robert’s reds as well as his whites, and that’s why the 2017 Domaine du Tunnel Saint Peray is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day.

2017 Domaine Saint Cyr Beaujolais Blanc

A white wine this good could cause a return to loving Chardonnay.  

Seriously. This white wine from Beaujolais producer Domaine Saint Cyr is so good, that you would swear you were drinking a Macon Village or even a well made Burgundy that didn’t see any oak.

The all organic white wine first hits you with the aromatics of fresh snow on a hilltop, green apples and a slight lemon zest. Flavors of apples, white pears and lemon give this wine elegance and grace, as well as being so in balance.

That’s why the 2017 Domaine Saint Cyr La Galoche Beaujolais Blanc is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day.

2016 D’Andezon Cotes du Rhone

One of the joys of hunting out great wine finds is coming across wines like those made under the d’Andezon label by the Rhone Valley’s Vignerons d’Estézargues, which is one of the top cooperatives in the region. Their top contributors approach basically makes it a winemaker’s atelier, where those with great fruit can turn out great wines that can rival many of the known big names like Joubalet, Guigal and Perrin as the D’Andezon wines have been that way for many year, 

Made predominantly from Syrah, with a small amount of Grenache that brings some softness to the wine, the Andezon Cotes du Rhone is one of those “it can’t be” when you look at the price and realize what an awesome value it really is.

While no one would confuse this wine with the 2016 Clape Cotes du Rhone, which is also made from Syrah, for 1/5th the price the d’Andezon gives alot more value for money than most wines in its price range. 

That’s why the 2016 d’Andezon Cotes du Rhone is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!

L’Effet Papillion

The wines made by Marjorie and Stephane Gallet under the Roc des Anges brand are rapidly befoming legendary wines from the Roussillion, much like wines from Domaine Gauby and Clos des Fees are. 

Their wines are part of the unheralded in the region with a list that includes Vaquer and Domaine de la Rectorie and Precipitorie. Like Rectorie and Vaquer, there’s a magic to the wines the Gallets produce, and that magic extends to their everyday brand, L’Effet Papillon, both red and white, and soon the rose.

Having been buying wines from Roc des Anges since the 2007 vintage, when the L’Effet Papillion was first sent to the USA I grabbed a few bottles. Each year since then (2014 I think) I’ve been always awaiting what may be one of the best bargains on the planet when it comes to everyday drinking wine that tastest and performs like a wine two or three times the price. The Blanc is a well balanced blend of Macabeu and Grenache Blanc while the Rouge is Grenache Noir and Syrah, and likely some Carignan.

The two wines remind me of the old days of Guigal’s Cote’s du Rhones that always outperformed wines that were in their price range and above.  The freshness of the white, the fruitiness of the red, the spice in both, and the distinctive minerality in the wines is both classic Roussillion as much as they are classy wines.

Big bright cherry, blueberry and deep strawberry flavors make the red a real crowd pleaser, while the peach, melon, lime and lemon zest gives the white L’Effet Papillion such a nice twist and kick.

And for those reasons and more, that’s why the L’Effect Papillion wines are today’s WineSiders’ Wines of The Day!!!

Domaine du Colibri

On the east side of the Rhone as you drive north from Avignon sits the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain range. One region on the rise uptop is Beaumes de Venise, Down the hill is Gigondas. Up the road is Vacqueyras. As you go north you reach Seguret. But on the other side of the Dentelles mountains you have  Mont Ventoux, the granite topped mountain range with some of the Rhone’s next cadre of underdiscovered gems.

Take Domaine du Colibri.

This new winery was started by Olivier Legranger, an understudy of Xavier Vignon, Colibri produces small batches of Rhone blends that are generous examples of freshness and body.

The 2017 Le Petit Tour Rose AOP Ventoux is a blend of 70% Grenache and Cinsault 30% grapes. Showing up with a very pale color, almost as light as some Cotes de Provence, the La Tour Rose is loaded up with strawberry and black raspberry fruit, some white rose and violet aromas, along with a hint of lime.

The 2016 La Tour Rouge AOP Ventoux is made from Grenache and Carignan and in many ways drinks more like a Chateauneuf du Pape than a Beaumes de Venise or a Ventoux. It has layers of blackberry, black raspberry, black plums and black cherries. The body is fleshy, with chewy layers and Provence herbs showing themselves well.

The two are great wines to seek out, and enjoy. And that’s why the Domaine du Colibri Rouge and Rose are the WineSiders’ Wines of the Day!!!