Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: *** $ Domaine Puig-Parahy Georges Cotes du Roussillon, 2007, France - Wine Review and Rating

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By way of background:  Original Review, November, 2009, This is a new experience for me... a Cotes du Roussillon from France.  I'm trying this twice, a year and a half apart.  Domaine Puig-Parahy Georges is a combination of carignan, grenache and syrah, finished at 13.5% alcohol. The winemaker Georges Puig says this is the favorite of the wines he produces - thus the reason it bears his name. Grapes come from low yielding 60- to 80-year-old vine in the Pyrenees foothills near Spain.



For some reason, the clean, simple label captures my fancy. Let's see if the wine does too...

In the glass: Deep dusty red, goes opaque in the center of the glass.

On the nose: Interesting, mild but evocative funky aromas - purple socks plus nut oil and touch of musky herbs. It's all good stuff.

On the palate: A bright and "grippy" red fruit entry on the middle of your tongue, expands with a sweet acid tang to the sides of your cheeks. The light tannins add to the acids and clench the sides of your mouth, wrapping them around the lightly-sweet red fruit. A real "SweeTART" experience; among the more enjoyable tangy red experiences I've encountered.

And the finish: Once the side of your cheeks recover, the clean red flush leaves you intrigued with another sip.

In summary: Bright acidic, teeth-brushing, mouth-wash experience. Leaves you squeaky clean. I'm not sure I'd return for another bottle, so I'll go with two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, but I must add a big plus for its unique character. Decent value.

David Schildknecht of Wine Advocate was an even bigger fan of Puig-Parahy Georges, awarding 90-91 points, and saying, "Smells of blackberry, wood smoke, toasted walnut, rosemary, and marjoram; offers a brightly-fruited, slightly tart and grainy palate impression, and finishes with a pungency of herb and fruit skin, a vigorous brightness, chalk and stone minerality, and sheer grip (accompanied by a faint 'chew') that can scarcely be expected from a wine destined to sell for so little. This whistle-clean beauty should remain virtually inert in tank, so that when Puig finally gets around to bottling and selling it, you will be able to count on at least a couple of years of very satisfying and versatile performance at table - not to mention amazing value."
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Updated Review, a year and a half later, April, 2011: Color is consistent and the nose is still an evocative old-world, funky blend.  Intense on the nostrils, and intriguing.  Peppery red fruit still on the palate. Still a bold tangy experience, it desperately wants food to clip the peaks of acidity.  But behind all that is a unique wine, not afraid of its own quirkiness and old world roots, showing some definite fruit along with these granite peaks of brightness.  I'll nudge it to three stars with the extra time, awarding it "best value" status.

Following long decant, full day in partially filled bottle at room temperature:  Still love this deep fruity, graphite-infused nose, now taking on some new world depths too. Bringing tannin dust layered on top of the red-fruited acidic peaks.  This is a new experience with each sip.  Very intriguing.

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