Domaine de la Chique
Purchased: Albany GO 11-12-2014
This wine caught my attention, even before I read the label, because it had a sticker on it signifying that it is a WWHQ wine: “This wine has been specially selected for World Wine Headquarters portfolio of wines from around the world. It exhibits the qualities and distinctiveness that warrants its recognition as one of the world’s finest wines.” After I read the label, I remembered that Ashlander had purchased this and gave it a taste test (“thought it was pretty good”) during the wine sale. Another note…WWHQ is also in importer for the Alexandre Sirech Les Deux Terroirs (SRP $21) I reviewed earlier, as well as the 2009 HILL OF CONTENT CABERNET SAUVIGNON AU (SRP$20) which I also picked up during the wine sale (but have not yet tasted). Co-incidentally, the AU Cab has the above sticker as well, but the Alexandre Sirech did not.
It was very interesting reading about this specific vineyard/grove. Having once been a vineyard, then an olive grove (the grape vines became neglected and were in danger of being uprooted in 2007) ultimately, in the “Ta Da nick of time”, new owners saved the vines and began producing wine again. Regardless of whether I liked or disliked the wine, this is a great story.
As to the wine itself:
Manufacturer’s notes: “The 2008 vintage is intense and full-bodied, yet perfectly balanced. Virtually all of the “colors” of a winemaker’s palette are represented, from fruit flavors to earth notes to the “seasoning” provided by aging in French oak barrels. Like a sunny Roussillon day, it’s sure to bring a smile to your face.”
- Grape Composition:50% Grenache, 30% Carignan & 20% Syrah
- Grape Source:Cotes du Roussillon, France
- Aromas & Flavors:Raspberry, Blackberry, Black Cherry, Leather, Pepper, Smoke, Spice and Cedar
- Aging Vessels:French Oak Barrels
- When to Drink:Now Through 2015
- Food Pairing Suggestion:grilled red meats, or roasted turkey.
Color: Dark burgundy. I wondered if it was cloudy but it’s just very dark. I used the Winefiner just in case there was sediment.
Nose: Lovely. Blackberry is in the fore with a supporting floral note…it reminded me of magnolia blossoms, and I’m guessing that is not a proper tasting note but that’s what it reminded me of. I didn’t really notice raspberry.
Taste: I’d recommend some air (not necc. a lot…just 1/2 hr even will be beneficial) with this one. At first pour it’s very fruit forward. Not sweet but, at first, I wondered if it’d be jammy. After about 20 min in the glass, that was no longer an issue (and the wine continued to evolve as the evening progressed). It was a lot more balanced and, IMO, tasty as more time passed. There is some earth here…I know you’ll think I’m crazy but…it’s not dirt that I recognize, tis unfamiliar earth (rather dry-clay-like), leaving a most evident “dust” undertone. It’s not as elegant or structured as the Le Riche that I just reviewed but it has definitely got some depth to it. I don’t detect cedar or smoke but the spices are more evident as the wine opens and there is a very, very light hint of leather. This wine is unlike most French reds I’ve tried in that it starts out so much more fruit forward with a lot more substantial body; perhaps that’s what they meant when they called it “a modern wine”. However by the end of the night, there’s a nice dryness (and more European style) evident. I actually quite like it. While I do love the dryness of the European reds, sometimes they can be astringent. There is no sign of that here, and there is no cloying sweetness. It’s just nicely balanced. Easily drinkable.
IMO, this is a decent wine…I’m not gushing but I would buy it again. It gets even better as it opens (I was really skeptical over a French red from GO…I’ve so disliked every Bordeaux that I’ve ever tried from there). It’s not a $50-$60 wine but it is easily a $20 value and for $6.00, I can’t deny it’s a bargain. I’m glad I have another bottle, it’s perfect for a nice, moderately spicy, dry, everyday red. One thing I did want to note before posting…it evolves pretty quickly over the evening. I’m not sure this is a two-day wine. It’s possible, we liked it enough that it didn’t make it to day two. If anyone does try it and get that far, I’m definitely interested in your thoughts since we do have another bottle of this one.