Wine of the Week – A 94 point rated red for as low as $12.99/bottle – We hate to lead off a special offer on a special wine with the words “supplies are very limited,” but that’s the case with this one. Jean-Marc Lafage, one of the most skilled proprietors and winemakers in Southern France has put together another absolutely stunning red wine that Jeb Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate rated 94 points.
If you shop at Table Wine with any frequency, you’ve probably had a wine crafted by Jean-Marc Lafage and his wife Eliane. They are the same team behind the Bastide Miraflors red and dry rose, the Novellum Chardonnay, and the Cuvée Centenaire. This wine is a custom cuvée made in conjunction with importer Eric Solomon, and it is composed entirely of 70+ year old Carignan from in the Cotes Catalanes, near the Spanish border.
The combination of sunny, warm days and rocky, schisty soils seriously stress these low yielding vines, and the resulting wine is really quite amazing considering the price. It is fermented in concrete tanks and neutral oak to preserve the natural purity and complexity of fruit, mineral, and spice inherent in old vines. If included in a blind tasting of Southern French reds, it could easily pass for one that sells for a lot more. Deep in color and possessing a wonderful nose of warm raspberry, dark cherry, chocolate, and mineral, it opens up even more on the palate with rounded, rich, and ripe notes of pure raspberry, dark cherry, hot rock, peppery spice, and creamy milk chocolate.
Those are our tasting notes. Here’s what Mr. Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate had to say: “A custom cuvee and joint venture with importer Eric Solomon, the 2013 Tessellae Vieilles Vignes is 100% Carignan and comes from 70-year-old vines and the schist soils of Maury and Les Aspres. It is an off-the-charts value that offers up thrilling notes of black raspberry, chocolate, graphite, tar and licorice to go with a voluptuous, decadent, yet seamless and gorgeously pure feel on the palate. Seriously, this wine is smoking good and should thrill for 4-5 years, if not longer. Just pretend you paid more for it.”