Domaine de Mourchon Delivers in 2009 & 2010
by Cynthia Hurley
A bird's eye view of the area surrounding Domaine de Mourchon
The outstanding 2009 & 2010 crop of cuvées from Domaine de Mourchon has so much going for it that it's going to be hard to fit it all in one email.
The Mourchon Tradition and Mourchon Grande Reserve boast off-the-charts ratings and reviews, which you'll find below. But first, I have to talk about the amazing 2009 vintage in the Southern Rhone - rated an "outstanding" 93 by Parker and 94 by Wine Spectator. You will also find Domaine de Mourchon in Parker's book, Parker's The World's Best Wine Values under $25, with yet another rave review.
You absolutely want these wines in your glass regularly.
Scotsman Walter McKinlay purchased 40+ acres in Seguret in 1998. It is amazing how quickly he has made Domaine de Mourchon a quality standout in the region. By the 2005 vintage, Robert Parker was already calling Domaine de Mourchon "the best estate today in Seguret". Of the 2006s he wrote that Mourchon was "one of the reference point estates in the southern Cotes du Rhone". 2007 brought the praise, "This excellent estate...has proven over a short period of time to be one of the stars among all the Cotes du Rhone-Villages estates...
This is a tour de force in winemaking... Kudos to Domaine de Mourchon! These splendid cuvees are all worth buying by the caseload." 2008 - "one of the leading estates of the Cotes du Rhone village of Seguret". And now Robert Parker writes of 2009s, "In just over a decade, this family-owned estate has become not only a top producer in the southern Rhone, but also a reference point for what's possible." Are you sensing a trend?
Domaine de Mourchon makes a couple of cuvees - and I have the following now: Grande Reserve 2010 (just arrived) and Tradition 2009 both scored 90+ ratings from Wine Spectator & Robert Parker.
Domaine de Mourchon Tradition 2009: "Fleshy and smoky, with enticing mesquite, tobacco and iron notes weaving through the large core of fig and blackberry fruit. The long, smoldering finish has some serious grip in reserve." 91 Points! - JM, Wine Spectator
Parker gives the Grand Reserve 2010 a 90-93 point rating and gushes, "The 2010 Seguret Grande Reserve 2010 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Seguret (65% Grenache and 35% Syrah) is a fresh, lively effort revealing good focus, slightly more acidity than the 2009, and a more backward, restrained character. This concentrated, impressively endowed 2010 should age nicely for a decade or more." R Parker Wine Advocate
Now a little label decoding: What's the difference between a Cotes du Rhone, a Cotes du Rhone Villages, and a Cotes du Rhone Villages-Seguret? In the Rhone there is a hierarchy: the requirements for a plain "Cotes du Rhone" wine are the most relaxed - yields average 52 hectoliters per hectare. The "Cotes du Rhone" produces around 419 million bottles a year, making it one of the single largest wine-producing appellations in the world. 85% of the region falls into this classification. Wines allowed to put Cotes du Rhone - Villages on the label must adhere to stricter quality regulations: yields here average 37 hectoliters per hectare. And then you have the wines (like the Domaine de Mourchon wines) who are allowed to append their village name to the end of Cotes du Rhone Villages, as in, Cotes du Rhone-Villages-Seguret. There are only 18 of these special villages, an honor they have received because of their superior terroir. In these villages the yields are still lower and the wines of even higher quality - these represent only 7% of the region's vineyards.
Domaine de Mourchon is behind the village of Séguret about 300 meters up on a twisty little way. It is a modern beauty with shiny stainless steel tanks configured in a circle in one room. This winery is state of the art with table de tri for sorting every grape carefully to make sure there are no inferior ones in the final blend, and designed to use gravity to pamper the grapes as they transfer to vat.
Then there is the tasting room, which is sun-splashed and painted in Provençal hues of dusty pinks and earthy tones. It's very hard to leave this place. Waves of relaxing provencal welcome wash over you as you stand with your glass of minerally and dark-hued Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Grande Reserve or Tradition in your hand. The cherries, black and red, contend with Rhone garrigues, and Provencal rosemary and thyme all waft from the glass.
The cepage of the Tradition is 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 10% Carignan. The cepage of Grande Reserve is 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah. The vines are 60 years old. 40% of the Grande Reserve receives oak barrel-ageing for nine months. The Tradition is not oaked.
You'll love the smoothness of these wines. They are pungent and flavorful and will stand up to the feistiest food. Cynthia Hurley
I suggest a mixed case!
Please email me with any questions regarding these wines.
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