Perman Wine Selections Friday Feature – 9/9/11

Hello and Happy Friday!
Some call it a vacation. I call it a work trip.

Every year I’m off to a new wine destination to visit with winemakers, see their vineyards and taste their current releases.
A couple years ago on my trip to the Languedoc region of France, I fell in love with the wines of Domaine du Grand Crès. Hervé Leferrer was an estate manager at Domaine de la Romanée Conti in Burgundy in the 1980’s.
In 1989 his family made the move to the Corbières region of the Languedoc, and began Domaine du Grand Crès. Many of you have seen these offerings over the last couple months in various samplers.
Now that Fall weather has started to creep in, I am introducing the estate’s incredible expression of Syrah called “Cuvée Majeure.”

This is a Syrah dominated blend that not only is absolutely delicious and complex, but it also is a spectacular value given its quality.

Love Syrah? Please read on!

Have a great weekend,


Corbières is a beautiful, but large appellation in the Western Languedoc. Not all Corbières is created equally and the consumer must pay careful attention to where the estate’s vineyards are.
Hervé Leferrer has beautiful hillside vineyards overlooking a valley near Lagrasse. I spent part of an afternoon walking through the vineyards and was struck by the cooling influence of the winds due to its high elevation and the proliferation of wild mountain garrigue (herbs) that surrounded the vineyards.
The vineyard sites lend themselves to a style that is not in that “over the top” mold. The Grand Crès wines carry big flavor, but don’t make you feel like you’ve just taken a shot of Bourbon.
“Cuvée Majeure” is one of the most exceptional red wines made in the Corbières region. Jacqueline Friedrich in her book “The Wines of France” writes “The cuvée Majeur, mostly Syrah aged in newish oak, is a star. It deserves to be poured at the best tables the world over – superb.”
The 2007 vintage is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. The yield is naturally kept under 35 hl/ha, which is the equivalent of Grand Cru Burgundy.
The grapes are fermented in oak, and spend 16 months resting in a mixture of new and used oak barrels.
Explosively aromatic nose combining blackberry, violets, pepper and lots of garrigue. The texture is pure silk up front, then firming up a bit in the mid-palate reveling dark fruit flavors, chocolate and spice notes. The finish is long, and the fruit is amazingly pure.
Pair this with rack of lamb or a grilled, rare hunk of rib-eye. Insanely delicious, and a steal for this price. Stock up because this won’t last too long!

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