2008 Domaine de la Chique Cotes du Roussillon, France $5.99

Domaine de la Chique
Purchased: Albany GO 11-12-2014
13.5% ABV
SRP $16.49

FullSizeRenderThis 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.

My notes:
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.

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23 thoughts on “2008 Domaine de la Chique Cotes du Roussillon, France $5.99

  1. lim13

    Opened my first bottle of this tonight and you were right on the money, PW. Except I didn’t really feel it needed any air time. It was drinking really well right out of the bottle. My notes: “Clear dark ruby color with a fairly youthful lavender rim; somewhat fruity raspberryish, cherry nose with earthy, minerally qualities too; in the mouth, I love the acidity that’s nicely balanced with more raspberry, blackberry, cherry flavors and firm, but accessible tannins. I suspect there’s plenty of life left in this red because everything is perfectly balanced; fruity, yet complex with a very long, flavorful finish that even shows a bit of espresso. A combination old and new world wine and quite delicious.” I really like the blend of grapes and their proportions too. This Rousillon is clearly the sum of its parts and one of the better wines from this region that I’ve had in a long time.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hi Lim. I’m glad you guys enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe this one was still on the shelves last time I went to the store. The price is great even before the sale. We still have about a half a dozen bottles of this and I think it will drink well for a while, don’t you?

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Absolutely should be drinking well for a few years. Went to the Silverdale store where I bought it last November…gone! If anyone is still seeing this wine in the Seattle area stores, please let me know. Thanks.

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          Wish I could say I’ve seen it, but not since last fall. I bought one bottle, partly because we’d been to that town, and by the time I thought I wouldn’t mind having a couple more, it was gone, gone, gone…(at least at the GOs I frequent).

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Thanks so much for checking in, FC. Guess that’s kind of what I expected. But nowadays I see that as a money-saving opportunity.

            Reply
            1. permiesworld Post author

              Well it appears that, even after sitting here for months, suddenly this one sold out here as well. Husband stopped by there today and said he’d pick up a couple more, but they are out. Wild. It was still there after the wine sale too.

            2. lim13

              My apologies if I brought the remaining bottles to someone’s attention by posting my comments on the wine! : ~)

    2. JoelA

      Picked up a bottle at Oakland last week and fully agree with Lim’s notes. The wine is unusually fruity for a wine from this region (due to the substantial content of grenache?) but has the structure to hold well and probably even develop further for a couple of years.

      Reply
  2. MiSh

    I opened this one last night and let a small pour sit in a glass overnight, covered. The glass wine didn’t make it, and it went down the drain. Before deciding on the whole bottle, I poured a new sample tonight and I am glad I did. There were less fruit notes on the bottle now, having been opened but corked for a day but no where near the deterioration from the oxygenation in the glass’s pour. It is my first French red from Go and it was good enough for tonight but I’m not sure I’d invest in any for the future.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      Normally we don’t buy French reds there either, this is the first (IIRC) that I’ve ever liked. I can’t even remember what caused us to purchase this. It might have been another consumer. We just had some the other night when our latest GO purchase was bad. It’s still drinking well. This one never makes it to day two around here.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        PW, I wouldn’t give up on French wines entirely. I agree that GO’s record for Bx. and Burgundy leaves a lot to be desired, but during a Nov. 2013 sale there were a bunch of Burgundies for sale which I didn’t purchase. Along with these Burgundies were some Rhones, CdP and Cornas, at $15 minus 20%. Those were worth it.

        Reply
          1. Darrell

            PW, you might want to be the “first to try” because there are others on the lookout for CdP and other Rhones beyond Cote du Rhone. I once was in Berkeley looking over the sale Burgundies during the Nov. 2013 sale and met somebody doing the same. We chatted a bit about Burgundy. I believe Berkeley had sold out of the Rhones. Days after, I later checked out another GO and also found this fella going over a pallet of recent arrivals cleaning out the Rhones. Needless to say, there was a bit of chagrin seeing me there doing what he was doing. You wait, you lose.

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              I got one of the CdP and two of the Cornas. Have not opened. Got maybe 20 bottles of the burgs, they have been really good.

        1. seedboy

          The Laroche Bourgogne and Petit Chablis that some of the stores currently sell are $11 and $12 and they are good. I’ve bought a lot of good red and white Burgundy at the GO over the years, and some good rhone wines. I agree that the Bordeaux are pretty disappointing generally. Now, the Gonet Medeville Champagne that we got at the sale a couple of years ago for $12 a bottle, that stuff is epic. Still have two bottles left.

          Reply
  3. bin5

    This showed up late in the sale in Renton. I had one of those tiny plastic cup tastes which can be really hard to discern much, but I decided to spring for six since I wasn’t going to be able to get back to the sale. Glad I did. You’re right PW that it takes about 30-45 minutes to get to some nice juice. I agree with RB, turned out to be one of the better deals of the sale for me.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      It’s good to know that you had a similar experience with it Bin5. Originally I only bought one bottle but yesterday morning, I stopped back by and picked one up for a friend and just one more for us (they don’t have much left at our store so I gambled that I’d like it). I hadn’t tasted it then or I’d have purchased a few of them.

      Reply
  4. RB

    Thanks for the review, PW. I did try this one after it was open overnight, since I had several tasters going during the recent wine sale, and I thought it held up very nicely. I don’t remember any noticeable decline. For me this was one of the better deals of the sale. I went back and grabbed a few more.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hey RB, thanks for weighing in. I have a good friend (responsible for introducing me to wine in the first place) and one of her top requirements in wine buying (right after taste) is “how does it taste on day two” (followed by “will it make it to day three?”) so I appreciate the feedback and will let her know.

      Reply
        1. permiesworld Post author

          True. I think that it’s important to know what you want out of a wine when you are making your choices. Whether it’s wanting dry or fruit forward, Napa vs. Bordeaux etc. If you want something for one night, then your options are broader than if you want something to last for longer. It’s just another box to check off when you are making choices.

          Reply

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