Selection Massale-New Releases

Arlequin Wine Merchant, San Francisco

Tasted February 11, 2012 by drwine2001 with 435 views

Introduction

This importer has a strong philosophy of carrying only natural wines from small producers. Some of their selections are worthwhile (a fantastic old vine Beaujolais comes to mind), but others are just so bad that they verge on disgusting, and frankly are wines that you would think an importer might be embarrassed to show. This particular set of wines started out okay but really went downhill when we got to the reds. I was conservative in ticking off only the last wine as flawed, but you could make that case for several others as well.

Flight 1 (9 notes)

Rosé
2009 Domaine Dupasquier Vin de Savoie Rosé France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie
Deep color-more like a light Pinot than typical rose. Low pitched aromas. Sappy, dry, serious rose. Earthy and deep. Looking back, this may have been the best wine of the series.
White
2009 Domaine Belluard Altesse Vin de Savoie Grandes Jorasses France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie
Pale. High toned nose with grapefruit rind. Light and pure with a mineral finish. These first two Savoyard wines were quite good, although this one is no bargain at $33.
White
2009 Frantz Saumon Montlouis-sur-Loire Le Clos du Chêne France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Montlouis-sur-Loire
Medium yellow. Interesting nose with more herbs and flowers than typical Chenin fruit. Light to medium weight. There is some good pear fruit, terrific acidity and an earthy finish more evocative of Savennieres than Montlouis. This almost tastes like a blend of Loire Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon-quite unique and also good, but I think I preferred the less expensive Minerale + from this vintage.
White
2006 Domaine Les Roches (Alain et Jérome Lenoir) Chinon Blanc France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Full yellow with some green. Rubbery, funky nose. Some upfront tropical fruit that quickly fades into a tart, thin, frankly vile finish.
Red
2006 Domaine Dupasquier Mondeuse Vin de Savoie France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie
Light red. Faded strawberry fruit. Brambly, prickly, short finish. No.
Red
2004 Domaine Les Roches (Alain et Jérome Lenoir) Chinon France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Medium deep color. Aggressive green herbal scent. Nice pencil shavings and green olive entry with enough body but then high acidity and shrill tannins don't exactly leave a silky feel or any sense of harmony. I really don't like the Lenoir wines I've tried, and after this tasting, I can extend that generalization to the whites as well as the reds.
Red
2010 Jérémy Quastana Vin de France L'Insurgé France, Vin de France
Medium red. Funky, bretty aromatics. Behind that is some nice body and texture and simple cherry fruit. Eh.
Red
2010 Domaine Le Bout du Monde Côtes du Roussillon Villages L'Écume des Jours France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Cloudy medium ruby. Medicinal nose and palate. Heavy, low acid with an aftertaste that crosses the line from earthy to overtly unclean. Seems unstable and is frankly dreadful.
Red
2010 Domaine Le Bout du Monde Côtes du Roussillon Villages Hop'là France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages
flawed
Strange brew of carbonic maceration aroma and some unidentifiable flaw that made it smell like dirty socks. I couldn't bring myself to taste this one.
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