Thursday, October 18, 2007

Waiting for Lafage

So I opened a 2004 Domaine Lafage Côte Sud Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes last night and man, was I disappointed. Simple and sadly sour — quite bad, really, even for a $10 wine.

Tonight, it's actually a decent glugger. This Roussillon-grown wine may be 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the sharply fruity nose features tobacco and olive, like a Loire Franc, and juicy black fruits amble over the palate, followed by a touch of spice and some tannic grip. Sediment! It ain't filtered. Now I'm happy, if also happy I dropped no more than a Hamilton.

This happens to me again and again. Just last week, a 2004 Domaine Gauby Les Calcinaires Côtes du Roussillon Villages — no, the phenomenon is not limited to Roussillon 2004s — started bland. It took 48 hours to show its stuff, eventually piping savory talc and marzipan notes (Les Calcinaires, mais oui!) onto my palate. The blackberry flavors turned jucier, while spice notes emerged where none had been before. As it's roughly equal proportions of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, that is more in line with what I was expecting. This cost barely north of a Jackson, but was worth it in the end.

Good things come to those who wait, or at least to those who wait before pouring a wine down the drain on its first day.

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