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2007 Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone Villages les Galets Plan de Dieu
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- Cellar 3 - 4 years (2013-2014)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
For those new to European wines, the word 'appellation' probably represents a rather cryptic nomenclature certifying that wines have originated from their designated regions or 'terroirs'. It's also the reason why French wine labels tend to emphasise 'appellation of origin' followed by the estate owner or producer, rather than emphasising grape variety. Such labels presume that the consumer already knows what grape varieties the wine is composed of (amongst other things) by virtue of the appellation information supplied. The present day organisation of the French wine industry is founded on appellation d'origine laws conceived in the early part of twentieth century, initially as a practical response to economic depression and widespread fraud within the viticultural sector. They assured consumers that wines actually came from the places defined on their labels, so protecting the integrity and quality of French wine in general, and ultimately improving sales. Later decrees were even more prescriptive, dictating winemaking standards and obliging wine makers to plant the 'correct' grape varieties and to cap cropping levels (a significant determinant of wine quality). The system remains controversial amongst winemakers and causes confusion for the average wine lover, perhaps no where more so than in the Rhone Valley. As in other French wine regions, the Rhone's Appellations d'Origine Controlees (AOCs) rely on sets of rules based around the concept of 'terroir' (the interaction of soil and climate on wine quality) as well as specific local and historic practises. Essentially, the whole system is organised as a pyramid. The further you climb towards the summit, the more restrictive the criterias for production, the more prestigious the terroir and the better the wines should be.
The 'Cotes du Rhone' AOC constitutes the base of the pyramid. The second level is the 'Cotes du Rhone Villages' AOC which follows slightly different rules. Out of ninety 'communes' allowed to produce Cotes Du Rhone, eighteen of them are allowed to step up the hierarchy ladder with the mention of the village name on their labels, provided they respect the more restrictive yields as well as other analytical requirements at harvest (our last Rhone offer included wines from such villages as Cairanne, Roaix, Rasteaux and Valreas). Tasting Note:
A rising star of the Southern Rhône, Daniel Boulle, together with his wife Helene are known for their top-notch fruit. Until 1999 all the production was sold to a cooperative. Now the whole production is vinifed at the Domaine. A minimalist approach means quality of fruit is all important - in the winery Boulle lets the wine 'make itself'. The 'les Galets' is composed of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Mourvedre. Outstanding black crimson colour with very deep black crimson hue. Aromas of black cherry, liquorice and spicy cedar followed by some dried meat and blackpepper notes. The palate displays excellent weight with concentrated favours of black cherry, liquorice, spice and blackpepper with an earthy dried meat overlay. Chewy, slightly dryish tannin structure but balanced. Excellent length with long aftertaste of black cherry, liquorice, spice and earth.
Cellar 3-4 years (2013-2014)
Alc 14.5%. Other Reviews….
…exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as copious blueberry and black raspberry notes intermixed with smoked herbs, cedar, underbrush, and licorice. This full-bodied, silky-textured, voluptuous, tasty wine should drink well for 3-4 years....this biodynamically farmed estate is a treasure-trove of excellent as well as value-priced wines...his 2007s seem to hit all the sweet spots on the palate.
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate