Hello friends. A duo of Full Pull’s Vast Network of Wine Spies™ (VNoWS) have come through with well-timed reports to Full Pull Central, reports that are going to allow us to offer a last call on one of the most popular wines we have ever offered. And I don’t just mean last call on this vintage. I mean last call on this project:
Report from VNoWS Agent #2: Yes, I see one pallet of 2011 Domaine de la Renjarde Cotes du Rhone Villages Massif d’Uchaux on the MSC Carmen. It is due in at the Port of Seattle on August 17 and will be offloaded soon thereafter.
Report #1 compelled me to offer the wine, and Report #2 helped me set the timing. As that second report mentions, the wine should be landing in the next week or so (want to really geek out: here is a link to track the Carmen). Our plan is place our order on Monday (Aug 17), so please get all order requests in by Sunday night. That should allow us to stake our claim before anyone else even knows this wine has sniffed Seattle.
Now then, the wine itself. We first offered it on May 5, 2014 and then reoffered it on August 18, 2014 and February 6 of this year. It was – and continues to be – one of the most popular import wines we’ve ever offered. Why? Some excerpts from previous offers will help explain:
This one was already popular from the previous 2010 vintage as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape for $19.99. And then the winery dropped the price further, such that our TPU for the 2011 was $14.99. Yikes.
One of the most recently added villages to the eighteen allowed in Cotes-du-Rhone Villages is Massif d’Uchaux, and it’s also one of the most compelling. Why? Because it’s as close a named village as we have to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Renjarde has its roots in Chataeuneuf. It is owned by the Richard family, proprietors of the outstanding Chateauneuf producer Chateau La Nerthe, as well as Prieure de Montezargues in Tavel. The vineyard is more than 40 years old, majority Grenache rounded out with Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Carignan. In 2011, the blend is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 5% each Mourvedre and Carignan, and it was fermented and aged in a combination of concrete and stainless steel, so there’s no oak influence here whatsoever.
The wine is a great ringer to slip into a Cheateauneuf du Pape tasting. It has the wonderful Provencal scent: the brushy garrigue, the floral lavender and cherry blossom, the resinous mint, all framing a core of pure black raspberry and rocky mineral. What I especially like about this is that it’s a ringer not for modern (over-rich, over-alc’d) CdP, but for classic CdP. Alcohol is right around 14%, and the whole package is balanced, classy, with a great cooling mineral tone to balance Grenache’s fleshy fruit. There’s sneaky back-end chew, loads of complexity, and terrific palate-weight. “Ultra impressive” says my note, and at sub-$15, it’s a house wine candidate.
Please send us your requests, with no upper limits (it is last call, after all), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in the next week or two and be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.