I’m on a kick lately drinking Syrah and Grenache before it goes out of fashion. The combo of these two varietals just seems right during a winter that really isn’t. I’m going to have daffodils blooming soon for Christ’s sake. What’s the point of living in the northeast if winter feels like Arizona? So this S+G seems to be a good fit – nice spicy pepper from the Syrah, and a warm tummy glow from the Grenache. This Domaine heralds from my old stomping ground – the Corbieres region of southern France. This is not a southern Rhone wine! I have to admit I’m getting a little tired of the wines from there – they all seem to be a bit too obvious – as if they know what the critics want, they know they can produce it and because the critics say it’s 90+ points they can get whatever price they want for it – one more reason why I hate the contradiction of an objective critic with a rating system – wake up, you put a point score on a wine you are no longer objective!
Domaine Faillenc is owned and run by Dominique Gilbert and his wife Marie-Therese. They run a certified organic winery and they produce exquisite syrah, grenache and cinsault. The Sainte-Marie is a combo of just the S+G. It’s got a really funky nose when you pull the cork so leave it outside for 30 minutes and let it breathe – don’t be tempted to whiff it immediately because chances are you’ll think I’m just trying to palm you off with old crap – you whiffed it didn’t you?
After the pig-sty nose has evaporated you get wonderful rich fruit aromas reminiscent of granny behind the Aga making blackberry jam. But the flavors are compartmentalized – they’re not all up front, they don’t give you a chocolate rush and they don’t make you think of obese hippos (fading memory of mother-in-law). You get a lovely blackberry and strawberry jam on toast with lashings of pure Irish butter. I’ll drink this now but I’ll probably chill it slightly in the summer and have fun with it then too.
- Producer: Domaine Faillenc
- Vintage: 2009
- Varietal: Syrah, Grenache
- Country: France
- Region: Corbieres
- Production: Only 8 hectares – less than 2000 case production
- Availability: Limited – $17.00 per btl. $14.25 per case (12)
Order: Ordering is simple. Click on the e-mail link below and tell me how many bottles you think you may want. We’ll figure out the rest from there and reply to your e-mail within 1 day.