2005 Trassegum – Chateau d’Or et des Gueules

We’ve never actually defined any guidelines for what our weekly “Sunday Emails” should be about. Funny thing is that sometimes, when it’s about a wine that every member of our staff loves, the author feels a pang of guilt, as it feels like cheating. I’m sure Anya felt a little pinch last weekend, but hey, when something’s that great, we can’t hold back the praise. I’m going to try to remain guilt-free here, as I close my eyes and praise a wine made by Diane de Puymorin. But with fall in the air and the promise of small gatherings on the immediate horizon, I’m drawn to these lovely magnums of Diane’s top cuvee, 2005 Trassegum. 

Sure the sunny sky outside is teeming with Blue Angels right now, and temps are still in the 70’s, but the fact that I don’t need my sunglasses to drive home after work anymore means that soon it will get dark before 6 PM. The change is conceptually unromantic, but I see the value in it. I’m all about hanging out with friends and loved ones, irreverent conversation, good wine, and breaking bread. When the sky darkens early, these things happen sooner and with more regularity. So, I’m psyched. The cooler temps make hearty fare and red wine more practical; a positive development for sure! Alas, but what happens when you have 6 friends gathered ’round the table? A standard size bottle of wine evaporates quicker than a summer sprinkle on Tucson asphalt. A simple solution? Magnums. The big bottles. Everything tastes better out of magnums, right? But magnums are expensive, eh? Not today. Buy them by the case, and these check in a little over 40 bucks a piece, not bad. For magnums! What about the wine, then? Wait for it.

Chances are if you’ve spoken to me about Diane Puymorin, one of my favorite stories is the one about the Carignan. Rumor has it that when she bought the property back in 1998, she was strongly advised to rip out her then-50 year old Carignan vines. She said no. She said she was going to use them to make great wine. She was right. The complexity derived from these vines is part of what makes the wines of Chateau d’Or et des Gueules truly unique! They are red Rhone blends with that special je ne sais quoi. But I do know what; it’s the Carignan! Diane holds back her Trassegum (at her own expense) until she feels it’s ready to be consumed. The 2005 is her current release. It is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, old-vine Mourvedre, and old-vine Carignan. The profile is profound; with a dark purple fruit robe lift of aromatics, forest floor, and black tea. Savory fruit (think dark olives here) hit the palate with plenty of structure, and the finish is harmonious and long. All together, it is a whopping bargain! Oh yeah, and as an added bonus (just ’cause), the magnums come signed by Diane herself! Whoa! 

Just so you all know, I’m not feeling guilty about anything. Somebody has to eat the last cookie, somebody has to taste Diane’s wines, somebody has to write about it … voila. Happy 10/10/10 everybody! Add this 10 to your celebration! – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under Costieres de Nimes, French Wine, Nimes, Peter Zavialoff

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