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Vaucluse, 2012. Le Puy Saint Martin

Vaucluse, 2012. Le Puy Saint Martin

Item #: V0614R1IF
Vintage: 2012
Varietal: Vaucluse (Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault)
Vineyard/Appellation: Vaucluse, France
Color: Deep purple
Nose: Blueberry, game and earth
Palate: Earthy and grapey with spice
Finish: Almost thick with lots of extract
Rating: 96
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Drink now through 2016/13.5% Alcohol

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  • Description
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Winemaker Coralie Goumarre is the first woman in nine generations to take the reins of the family estate. Her modern approach has brought new energy to the Domaine. She symbolizes a balance between knowledge and creative freedom. When her cousin inherited his part of the family vineyard, he could have sold the few acres he had in Puy St Martin but it was too sentimental to get rid of so he asked Coralie to take care of it.

This tiny estate was founded by Coralie Goumarre as Domaine Galevan in 1780 but the first estate-bottled wine did not emerge until 1968. The estate is in the Vin de Pay Vaucluse appellation, which is part of a much larger area called, Vaucluse. The Vin du Pay appellations is literally grape's thrown away from Cotes du Rhone Villages and its most prestigious village, Chateauneuf du Pape. It shares the same grape makeup as Chateauneuf du Pape, 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 20% Cinsault, but fortunately costs less than a third of its famous neighbor.

Puy Saint Martin is aged for 8 months in concrete vats. The ancient practice of fermenting and aging wine in concrete is a long European wineries method but is becoming a practice for new world wineries as well. It is used regularly across France, Rhone Valley and Burgundy.

Concrete breathes like oak barrels but is not permeable, otherwise the tank would leak. The surface holds millions of microscopic pockets that are refilled with air each time the tank is emptied. The tiny pinches of oxygen help to preserve aromatics and tame the tannins in the wine.

Concrete gives a truer taste of the vineyard without oak aromas or sweetness to cover up deficiencies in the fruits. Above all concrete aging is all about the mouth feel. It tends to produce fresher and cleaner aromatic profile similar to stainless steel but without the higher toned palate sensation. It is inexpensive to clean and keep sanitary and, best of all, it is a natural insulation which requires no refrigeration while keeping the wine cool.

This is no poor man's Chateauneuf du Pape! It can stand on its own as a fabulous accompaniment to roast lamb or wild boar.

June Vintners Series Newsletter (.pdf)