Tag Archives: Delas Freres

Rising cream (Rhone Valley, France – Day Four)

Cooperative wineries are something that is pretty unique to Europe, and is possibly a little hard to understand for producers from New-World producing countries. The notion of hundreds or thousands of different growers all providing their fruit to a collaborative facility that has the responsibility of vinifying and either selling or bottling the collective wine produced is a very historic one, and it has only been the last 50 years that has seen more individual producers establish their own wineries, either from their own vineyards or purchased fruit. It must be a little bit scary trusting someone else to handle a year of your life, and also a little sad to know that it will be blended into many other wines and somewhat lost in the multitude. At the same time it must be relieving to know that you are going to get some money for your fruit regardless, rather than being completely at the mercy of the vintage and the market. In the Rhone Valley there are negociant producers who purchase wine (and in some cases fruit) to mature, blend and bottle under their own label. This model is much more familiar in the new world, as the largest producers in every country would need to buy fruit from growers often in different regions, to feed the increasing demand globally for their branded wines. This of course is in addition to their hundreds or thousands of hectares of vineyards, which is often the same size as entire appelations in Europe which many have hundreds of separate vineyard owners. Like Guigal, my appointment on Day Four was a producer based in the Northern Rhone that owns vineyards in several appelations, but relies on wine purchased from the Southern Rhone to provide the bulk of their sales.
Saint Joseph vineyards

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Delas Freres – 24/05/2012

Saint Joseph Blanc 2011 (>95% marsanne)

Quite grapey, orchard fruit with some subtle spice notes on the nose. Balanced and fresh on the palate, good fruit but a little simple and lacking personality.

Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2010 (<90% marsanne)

More concentrated colour and aromas, richer lees notes and orchard fruits with some floral slightly candied notes. More texture and depth on the palate, good extension and finesse with terroir personality.

Clos Bouchier Condrieu 2010 (100% viognier)

Closed very subtle aromas, a little bit young and not yet expressing. Very warm on the back of the palate, also a little too oaky and lacking viscosity and fruit to balance the wine.

Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2010 (mostly syrah)

Quite spicy dark cherries on the nose, but little else. Tight focused and bold on the palate, very fresh and approachable, not at all jammy or broad, great value for the price.

Domaines Des Grands Chemins Crozes Hermitage 2009

Very deep and concentrated with some stinky old world aromas. Very bold yet light like a crozes-hermitage should be, savoury and spicy red fruit characters.

Saint Joseph Rouge 2009

Deep violet aromas combining with subtle earth spice bold and forward aromatically. Bold juicy and broad on the palate, plenty on offer now but won’t develop well.

Cornas 2009

Slightly wild intense dark fruit but a little closed. Generous and gentle on the palate, bold yet tight and focused, lacking a little structure.

Cote Rotie 2009

Deep dark seductive combination of violets, dark fruit and black pepper. Tight, driven and focused, but the 2009 vintage is too easy in all respects, not classy enough.

Domaine des Tourettes Hermitage 2009

Really massive dark colour, intense aromas of cassis black olives earth and funk. Powerfully expressive, juicy dark fruit and very bold tannins. Possibly a product of the vintage, but it is a very intense wine that looks a tad new-world Robert Parker style.
Delas Freres red wines

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