Arnoux Père's "White Label" Vacqueyras "Seigneur de Lauris," a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, sees new oak, and offers excellent structure and aging potential.
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape is performing even better from bottle than it did last year. Composed of 47% Grenache, 38% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre, it is surprisingly soft and evolved for La Nerthe, but that actually gives the wine additional appeal. Its dense ruby/purple hue is followed by aromas of blue and black fruits, lavender, licorice, truffles and garrigue. Full-bodied, supple textured, fleshy and succulent, it will provide enjoyment over the next 10-15 years.
Super-negociant Alain Corcia has come up with another remarkable series of single cuvée Châteauneuf-du-Papes in 2009, each named after a different member of his family, including this outstanding bottling, named after daughter Julie. Robert Parker gives it 90-92 points in The Wine Advocate, saying it "… has a more saturated ruby/purple color and a big, sweet kiss of blackberry, boysenberry, black cherry, licorice, and camphor. Full-bodied, with unctuosity and some heady alcohol, it displays impressive purity, texture, and depth and should drink well for at least a decade or more."
Made from 100% certified organic grapes, predominantly Grenache with a little Syrah, the 2009 La Grand Ribe Cotes du Rhone Villages Centenaire comes from a conscientiously tended small estate in the southern Rhône village of Sainte-Cecile des Vignes. Led by prominent organic (and biodynamic) growers such as Château de Beaucastel and Chapoutier, the Rhône has been in the forefront of the organic movement, not simply for health and environmental reasons, but because these methods produced better-tasting wines. Centenaire, La Grand Ribe’s premium tier Cotes du Rhone Villages, has received a rave 91-93 point review from Robert Parker.
"The 2009 Gigondas was scheduled to be bottled soon after my visit. Composed of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah aged in foudre, this dense purple-colored 2009 exhibits copious amounts of meaty richness, blueberries, black raspberries, crushed rocks and flowers. Opulent and dense, it is one of the finest examples of Gigondas Guigal has yet produced. I liked it almost as much as their terrific 2007.