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October 25, 2010 (afternoon)

After a quick little lunch Ashley and I stopped by Domaine Yves Cuilleron for our afternoon appointment. Domaine Yves Cuilleron doesn’t purchase any grapes, rather using only fruit from their own vineyards, which now span 50 hectares. The lion’s share of their holdings are in St. Joseph, Cote Rotie, and Condrieu; they have relatively small holdings in Saint Peray and Cornas. Domaine Yves Cuilleron does only wild fermentations; whites are in barrel for 8 to 9 months, with stirring of the lees for 1 to 2 weeks; barrels range in age from new to 3 years old. Reds undergo a cold maceration for 3 to 7 days, are punched down and pumped over once daily, and are in barrel for 16 to 18 months for malo; all reds are aged in barrel, with the barrels ranging in age from new (20%) to 4 years old. Some of the reds are completely destemmed, some are not, but there’s never more than 20% stem inclusion.

Overall, I thought the wines here were good, but they didn’t hit the highs that the best of our Gaillard tasting achieved.

The tasting notes:

2009 Domaine Yves Cuilleron St. Péray Les Cerfs - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Péray (10/25/2010)
– tasted a single glass non-blind over approx. 10 min. –
– 100% Marsanne –

NOSE: musk Nose; warm pineapple; not complex.
TASTE: intense mineral-laden flavor; a bit fat; medium-length finish; 13.5% alc.


2009 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (10/25/2010)
– tasted a single glass non-blind over approx. 10 min. –

NOSE: apricot; slight shade of oak.
TASTE: slightly oaky; good background minerality; juicy; good acid; 13.5% alc.


2008 Domaine Yves Cuilleron St. Joseph L'Amarybelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (10/25/2010)
– tasted a single glass non-blind over approx. 10 min. –

NOSE: pretty ripe; hint of B/O spice; doesn’t have the cigarbox Nose that I typically associate with St. Joseph.
TASTE: great acidity; medium bodied; gently drying tannins; lots of plum; hints of musk; fruit seems very fresh; 12.5% alc..


2008 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Côte-Rôtie Coteaux de Bassenon - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (10/25/2010)
– tasted a single glass non-blind over approx. 10 min. –
– 90% Syrah, 10% Viognier –

Both the Nose and Palate showed pretty tight, with fresh purple fruits, hints of citrus, and juicy acidity. 13% alc..[/list]


2008 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Ripa Sinistra - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays de la Vienne (10/25/2010)
– tasted a single glass non-blind over approx. 10 min. –
– 100% Syrah –

NOSE: ripe fruits; boysenberry; spicy; hint of black pepper.
TASTE: more red-fruited than the Gaillard VdP from the same parcel, and this one has stronger tannins, too; juicy; good acid; 12.5% alc..


2009 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Ayguets - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (10/25/2010)
– tasted a single glass non-blind over approx. 10 min. –
– botrytised Viognier –

NOSE: golden raisins; apricot; intensely expressive Nose.
TASTE: moderate fruit concentration; good acid; shortish finish; 13% alc. not noticeable; good acidity; flavors mirror the Nose; seems very well-balanced, even with its 100 g/L r.s.; I imagine this will age gracefully.

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