14-03-2015

Domaine de Clovallon – Palagret 2012

palagret

I spent the better part of this week just north of Manchester, furthering my wine education (as any who are serious in the study must do) at the very lovely Northcote hotel & restaurant. On the last day of classes, myself and several others took part of their “Seasonal Lunch” which at 29£ is a pretty tasty deal as this is at a one Michelin star restaurant which does indeed live up to its rating. Upon asking the sommelier what to have with cottage pie and pigeon plates, he recommended a bottle from Languedoc that I’d of course never heard of called, Palagret by Domaine de Clovallon.

In attempting to piece together something about this winery, I learned that it’s just north of Béziers and apparently just on the edge of AOC Faugères. I’m not sure if the little bits I’ve found are stating that it’s just inside or just outside but given that owner, Catherine Roque planted a number of grapes that aren’t permitted within these southern regional appellations (namely Pinot Noir) I’d assume it was just outside and she was thus able to experiment a bit although it means that the wines are Vins de Pays d’Oc. Her whites go a bit further using other “northern” grapes such as Chardonnay, Riesling, and Petite Manseng.

I suppose it’s the 500m altitude that makes it all work in the end or perhaps it’s the fact that her winemaking daughter, Alix adds in a touch of the south to make it all work. In this case with the Palagret, there’s a decent amount of Syrah in the blend (the white uses Roussanne), although I suspect that there’s a bit of unstated Mourvèdre as well given that it has a rustic touch to it that I don’t usually find in either Syrah nor Pinot Noir. Whatever the case, it works and I’d link off to their website for you to learn more but I’ll be damned if I can find one. I am happy to boast that given the 40£ price tag at the restaurant and its flavor profile, I thought it to be about a 14€ wine in the region and it turns out I was a touch off and it’s usually about 12€ which is a pretty decent price for a French wine at this level.

Palagret 2012
Lots happening in the nose. Touch of barnyard as well as rustic bramble and red fruit notes. This gives way to herbal notes as it opens up and presents a wine very free of constraints but still well-made. Very much medium plus in the body and paired well with the dishes.

Pinot Noir, Syrah 13.5% 12€
*

WINES

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
95 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
94 3 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
93+ 3 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
93 2 Stars

Clos Henri - Petit Clos Pinot Noir 2016 92
Earthy, red cherries, young, crisp cranberry, light herbal notes, leafy, minor chalk. Medium tannins and medium plus acidity as well as length. Light sweetness on the palate but with a very pleasant, lingering structure and lightness to it.
100% Pinot Noir · 13.5% · 16.50EUR
92 2 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Rouge 2015 92
Medium ruby. Fresh red cherry, raspberry, and young strawberry, lifted and breathy, saline tinge along with light stoniness and rosemary and garrigue. Fresh red fruit on the palate, medium acidity but still light on the palate, fresh, and while the alcohol sticks out a little, holds and excellent, long finish.
Grenache Carignan Mourvèdre · 14.5% · 20EUR
92 2 Stars

Domaine Fontanel - Prieuré 2014 92
Dense ruby with brick flecks. Crisp red fruits, lifted by a waft of volatility making for a light nose with a spicy licorice and leather component. Crisp and lively with red cherry fruit in the mouth and a nudge over medium acidity. Nice, lingering finish.
50% Syrah 25% Grenache 25% Mourvèdre · 14.5%
92 2 Stars