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Featured Reviews

Lafage ‘Nicolas’ Grenache Noir 2016 and Clos du Caillou CDR ‘Garriques’ 2016

28 August,2018

By the reckoning of many of our winemakers, Wine Direct brings in some of the most interesting European wines into this country. They deal with some of the most prestigious names and domaines and they usually have an allocation of their very best wines, which are priced accordingly. To balance their portfolio, Wine Direct also bring in some incredible wine bargains, and many of these too, are from some of the most highly regarded producers. Here, I review two French reds, an old-vine Grenache from the very highly respected Roussillon producer Domaine Lafage, and a Cotes du Rhone from notable Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer Le Clos de Caillou.


Domaine Lafage ‘Cuvee Nicolas’ Cotes Catalanes Grenache Noir Vieille Vignes 2016

Grenache from France – Other


Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly packed and gently expressed with aromas of dark raspberries with subtle notes of blackberries and liquorice, unfolding a little dark-red floral lift. This builds in presence with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has rich, juicy and lusciously sweet flavours of dark raspberry fruit along with black fruits and hints of liquorice, with florals. The flavours are up-front and the palate has plenty of weight and presence. The tannins are fine-grained and allied with soft acidity, allowing some alcohol power to show. The wine carries to a light, elegant finish. This is a powerful, up=front, juicy and lusciously sweet, dark raspberry-fruited old-vine Grenache with fine grained tannins and structure. Match with barbecued and roasted red meat dishes over the next 4-5 years. Named after Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage’s son. Hand-picked Grenache Noir, vines around 65 y.o., fermented to 15.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in seasoned oak. 17.5/20 Aug 2018 RRP $24.99

Le Clos du Caillou ‘Le Bouquet des Garrigues’ Cotes du Rhone 2016

Blended Red from France – Rhone


Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with depth and density, showing an amalgam of dark-red and black-berried fruits harmoniously interwoven with notes of dark herbs, some whole bunch stalk nuances, and a layering of funky game. The aromatics build in depth with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has rich and sweet flavours forming a core of dark-red and black fruits along with dark herbs and a layering of funky game and earth. The fruit is underlined by fine, firm tannins. The fruit richness and sweetness leads to a drier finish. This is a firm Cotes du Rhone with ripe dark-red and black fruits with herb and funky game and earth notes. Match with slow-cooked game meat over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan and Mourvedre, vines 50 y.o., indigenous yeast fermented with 10% whole bunches to 15.0% alc., the wine spending 28-35 days on skins and aged 14 months in foudres. Certified Agriculture France organic. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $34.99

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