Monday, April 4, 2011

2004 La Coume Du Roy "Le Desir" Côtes du Roussillon Villages France

Unfortunately, I realized that with 2 kids, I have less time to write on the blog, because they are my priority and this blog is just for fun and to share some of my finds for the store with you. I also realized that most of the times I'm a bit too thorough and too long, so I will try to be more succinct or only write the tasting notes of the wine but with less rather than the full historic and description of the Domaine, which is going to be a challenge. Let's try. 

La Coume du Roy

La Coume du Roy is a Domaine from Roussillon, nestled in the little village of Maury and renowned for its red wines, more especially its old vintage Maury sweet red wines, classified as VDN (Vin Doux Naturel).

Maury is a village located in the northwestern part of the Roussillon region. It is also an "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" for wines, mostly red made from at least 75% Grenache Noir grapes, and a few whites and rosés. Other permitted grapes are Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and (rarely used) Macabeu, Malvoisie and Muscat.

Maury is well-known for its sweet, fortified dessert wines. Located in the Pyrenees-Orientales, near the French "departement" of "l'Aude", the appellation take its characteristics and its name from its dark schistous marls soil. Maury produces essentially "Vin Doux Naturel" red wines presenting various styles depending on the vinification and the ageing process. Great as an aperitif when young, the sweet Maury bear the characteristic of the Grenache grapes with flavors of "Griottes" (wild cherry) and other dark wild berries. With time, they generally evolve towards old prune, fig and jammy fruit, and pair well with cheese and chocolate dessert, somewhat very similar to port wine. "Mas Amiel" is usually the name of reference for Maury, yet "La Coume du Roy", although less notorious, is also a classic estate from this appellation and surely one of the oldest.    

La Coume du Roy is a beautiful Family story. It is the story of the evolution of “Domaine de Maurydoré” which was later renamed “Domaine de La Coume du Roy”. 

Domaine de La Coume du Roy is one of the oldest cellars of Maury, having roots dating back to 1932, when it was still called “Maurydoré”, a brand name established by Désiré Esteve, the great-grandfather of the actual owner. Winemaking skills and knowledge have been transferred into the family for the past six generations. 

Today, Agnès de Volontat-Bachelet who took over the family estate runs this domaine of 25 hectares of vines planted on dark non-metamorphic and decomposed schistose stony soil. 

The Domaine produces 3 types of wines on 3 different appellations within the Roussillon region:
  • Maury: sweet red wines mainly crafted with Grenache Noir, blended with Grenache Blanc and Gris. 
  • Muscat de Rivesaltes: sweet white wine crafted with Muscat d’Alexandrie a Petits Grains. 
  • Côtes du Roussillon Villages Red: full-bodied, earthy red wine crafted mainly with Grenache, Syrah and Carignan.      

The love for their Terroir is also a family story because the Domaine still possesses some very old vintages of Maury that were kept aside for years by Désiré for the birth of all of his descendants. These rare gems are nowadays meticulously released on the market and available in tiny quantities. Aged in oak barrels for years, these old Maury are invaluable treasures for the Domaine and for your palate too when paired with cheeses, chocolate desserts or even a cigar.  

However, even If I love their old Maury that I had multiple occasions to taste, I just bought the 2004 "Le Desir" and here is what I thought of it.

2004 La Coume Du Roy "Le Desir" Côtes du Roussillon Villages France
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Imported / distributed by Alan Bradley Imports in NYC (with the help of Francki Selections)

A blend of roughly 70% Grenache and 30% Carignan, 2004 "Le Desir" presents a fairly dark ruby-garnet color. Although still quite young, it already offers secondary and tertiary aromas on the nose (that are normally signs of age in older wines or wines that have aged too prematurely), with fig, old prune, ripe dark jammy and scorched fruits, earth, soil, leather, roasted nuts and slight woody notes. The palate also boasts complex earthy and Terroir driven flavors and nuances with ripe figs, roasted tomatoes, compote, red and dark ripe fruits, roasted nuts, chocolate and hints of oak. Quite balanced and juicy, a touch rustic but in a good way, the overall palate is soft textured, really approachable, with a solid yet integrated tannic structure and a long, earthy, chocolaty finish. Personally, I found it excellent, a bit old school and traditional, yet nothing abnormal or faulty.   

The fruit may feel slightly stewed and the nose a bit old, but I think it is more the style of the house than a fault, and remember that the climate and the soil in Rousillon are rather dry and arid and constantly swept by the Tramontane wind, which sometimes can result in sun drenched fruits that may be partially scorched if left too long on the vines. Yet, like I love them as a good Frenchman and a grandson of a winemaker, it is once again a wine for wine lovers and connoisseurs, surely not your everyday heavily marketed stuff, but in my opinion better and definitely worth trying.


LeDom du Vin

Info partially taken and edited from the winery website at 

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