Friday, June 17, 2011

2007 Cave de Tain Crozes-Hermitage "Les Hauts du Fief" Rhone Valley France

Cave de Tain

Located between Valence and Lyon, Cave de Tain lies at the foot of the Hermitage hillside. At the heart of the historic northern Rhône vineyards, the Cave produces and markets 5 “cru” wines and single varietal "Vins de Pays" from over 1000 hectares of vines located in the 5 major appellations, making it the leading producer of “cru” wines in the northern Rhône Valley.

The estate of "Cave de Tain" was founded in 1933, as a cooperative, by 100 winegrowers from the district of Tain l'Hermitage. Its first president Louis Gambert de Loche was a land owner and a great humanist, from whom the Cave de Tain purchased the Hermitage vineyards.

Today the Cave de Tain has 370 grower-members and a total vineyard area of 1,140 hectares, of which 1,000 hectares are A.O.C. wines.

Cave de Tain produces and sells wines from five appellation contrôlée wines, also known as Cru villages:

  • Crozes Hermitage, 
  • Hermitage, 
  • Saint Joseph, 
  • Cornas, 
  • Saint Péray. 
These wines are made according to long standing Rhône Valley traditions, and faithfully respect each appellation's specific "Terroir".

The volume of these five wines vinified by the Cave de Tain represents almost half of the total volume of all northern Rhône AOC wines produced. The Cave also produces single varietal vins de pays wines from Syrah and Marsanne grapes grown on the outskirts of the appellation areas in the northern Rhône hills.

The wines of the Cave de Tain are recognized for their quality. The objective of the Cave is to provide wine lovers around the world with authentic wines which bear the full character of their individual " Terroir ", bringing out the best through careful and non-intrusive vinification methods.

The winemakers supervise each stage of vinification, from grape reception, classified according to quality, right up to bottling. The cellar team makes every effort to respect the inherent characteristics of each vintage, to ensure a harmonious and natural finished product after vinification.

In this highly traditional vineyard, successive generations have contributed to the growth and development of the winery by producing grapes of a quality they strive to constantly improve.

2007 Cave de Tain Crozes-Hermitage "Les Hauts du Fief" Rhone Valley France
Suggested retail price $23-$25
Imported / distributed by Cognac One - Xavier Flouret in NYC

The Crozes Hermitage appellation is Cave de Tain specialty, since it produces nearly 50% of it. Careful selection of grapes depending on the origin, maturity and quality of grapes. All grapes are destemmed, then macerated in vats for 8-15 days under controlled temperature. The resulting wine is partially aged in oak barrels for 12 months. 30,000 bottles produced.

This cuvée is a blend of the best "terroirs" of the appellation and reveals the different facets of it. The vines are 20 years old at least, yielding about 35 hl / hectare. The soil is a mix of pebbles made of fluvio-glacial alluvium that are stony, warm and filtering, hence creating good drainage. The weather is extremely dry in the summer favoring healthy and early maturing of grapes.

Made from 100% old vines Syrah, this wine presents a deep and dark garnet color. The nose is quite complex and fragrant with ripe blackberry and wild berries aromas, with earthy hints of dark cherries and mocha. The palate offers a generous mouth-feel with similar notes. Well-structured and balanced, the mid-palate and finish are fine grained, with present yet integrated tannins. The finish is long and persistent on cherries, liquorice, mocha and spices notes, and slight herbaceous traces. A bit tight at first, just after opening, it will need 20-30 minutes of aeration, decanting is definitely recommended. The structure and texture suggest very good ageing potential and reflect its youth.This wine has been only lightly filtered and may form a natural deposit. Wait for it a bit, 2-3 years, or decant it and enjoy it over red meats, herb roast poultry, cooked pork and cheeses. A racy and Terroir oriented wine that may not have the elegance and depth of some of the more renown names of this area, yet it is an excellent quality / price ratio at $25.


LeDom du Vin

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