Grange des Peres 2015
I’ll admit – this offer is a bit hard to fathom. The expense of the bottle, the location the wine is made, and the blend of the wine all make it seem a curiosity. On top of that, our allocation has been exceedingly rare – ’04, ’06, ’11 and now ’15 is our current track record.
But one thing I can assure you of – each and every person who tastes this bottle never regrets it. Consider being washed away on a tide of categorical deliciousness. Yes, the price is high, but everyone who’s ever tried it ends up buying a bottle because they know at some point they’ll simply want it.
So just what is this wine? It’s “Dad’s Barn”! Sorry, that’s a joke about the ironic (for a $120 bottle) name of the wine.
It’s actually, as near as I can figure, the heart and soul of a creative winemaking genius, Laurent Vaillé. While I have not met Laurent, his story and the creation of this wine (and how it tastes) led me to conclude he is one of the most masterful winemakers I’ve ever tasted. Laurent can create magic seemingly out of nothing, making simple grapes taste like something no one else can.
Laurent’s resume is not short of powerhouse names: Coche Dury in Meursault, Gerard Chave in Hermitage, and Eloi Durrbach at Domaine de Trevallon in Provence. Why he didn’t stay at one of these illustrious names I don’t know, but I can guess. All of them are now so famous, and in such famous places in France, that striking out on his own there would have been economically impossible.
Where he did settle was in the l’Hérault of the Languedoc near Aniane, in Languedoc Roussillon on land largely made up of limestone and glacial scree. There, after significant dynamiting and bulldozing, he planted Syrah bud wood from Chave’s Hermitage, Mourvedre and Cabernet from Domaine de Trevallon with local Counoise rounding out the rest. The result is his Grange des Peres Rouge, a blend of (typically) 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvedre, 10% Cabernet and 10% Counoise. I told you the blend was unusual. But it is heavenly yummy:
Right from the first sip, there are always several striking things about Grange des Pere. First, the palate is silky smooth. I don’t understand how Laurent makes Syrah, Mourvedre and Cabernet turn into a supple, tranquil, effortless and pellucid drinking experience, but he does. In spades. The wine is as smooth as polished marble pattered with raindrops.
Second, the flavors and smells are incredibly complex where a mixture of fruit aromas combine with savory forest floor, spice elements, and limestone. These flavors all come from somewhere, but there is a genius going on with the taste – no one single flavor stands out, and no one single flavor can be identified as “Cabernet” or “barrel” or from anything Laurent has done. It is all seamlessly woven together. This is incredible wine.
Everyone who has ever tasted it has always gone on to buy it. So those of you who know the wine – dive right on in. 205 cases were imported into the U.S., we got 2 of them.
For those of you who don’t know the wine, we’re going to add it into Farwell’s Wine Hall List. Come down and purchase a 5 oz. glass for $20 – until we run out of it!