Sunday, 1 May 2011

Three more new wines from Domaine Treloar

I have at least one more post (maybe two) to publish about the Burgundy trip, which I shall get around to within the next few days. But I am currently distracted by the process of tasting and writing notes for my new batch of Domaine Treloar wines - and what an enjoyable distraction they have been, thus far! Here are three more..........

Domaine Treloar Three Peaks 2008 Cotes du Roussillon
Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan, aged in French oak barriques (mostly used, I would guess). A lovely bright, medium-deep purple core, with a small ruby rim. Beautiful aromas of cherries, brambles, plums and apples steeped in eau de vie, with background notes of garam masala, polished leather and a savoury, almost Marmite note. The palate is immediately appealing, even at this relatively early stage, for though there's plenty of concentration, there's also enough elegance and fleet of foot to make it deliciously drinkable. The tannins are present, but beautifully ripe, making for a wine that finishes dry, but with enough acidity and juicy red fruit flavours to make you keep going back for more. There seems to be a bit of a theme developing here, in my notes for these new Trelaor wines. The Tahi 2007 that I wrote about yesterday was an absolute cracker, and so is this one. In fact, in my opinion, it is by some way the best - and most elegant - 3 Peaks yet. Makes me look forward to trying the other new wines even more! This will be available to purchase via my website very shortly - price £11.75. 13.5% abv.

Domaine Treloar Le Secret 2008 Cotes du Roussillon
This one is Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and again aged in French oak barriques. The colour is very similar to the Three Peaks, though a little darker and more opaque. And despite the fact that Syrah is the dominant variety, the Mourvedre really shows through, with some really smoky, meaty, leathery, almost farmyardy notes mingled with the bramble fruit, but countered by notes of orange peel and fried spices. There's a touch of oak influence, but it is totally harmonious and serves only to add complexity. And again - as with the Three Peaks - the palate has a delightful freshness, with juicy fruit flavours and fine tannins countered (or rather complemented) by excellent acidity. Moreover - and this is something I've noticed in the other new Treloar wines - there's absolutely no impression of heat or over-ripeness, with the alcohol level at a very respectable 13.5%. Slightly earlier picked grapes, perhaps? Whatever the reason, the result is more freshness, more finesse and wines which are much easier to drink young. Having said that, this is yet another wine with excellent keeping potential - I'd say another 5 to 8 years. Again, look out for this one appearing on the website very soon - price £13.95.
Domaine Treloar MO2 Vin de France
100% Muscat Petit Grains, from yields of just 20 hl/ha. Described by winemaker Jonathan Hesford as "fermented in the presence of oxygen until dry, fortified with grape spirit and aged in a 2 year-old oak barrel with headspace, out in the sun". I'm sure Jon won't mind me revealing that this was actually a batch of Muscat that "went wrong" (i.e. oxidised). Instead of pouring it down the drain, Jon decided to experiment. The result is a wine that to all intents and purposes looks and smells like a slightly nutty (in both senses of the word) Muscat de Rivesaltes, a deep-ish orange/gold colour with orange marmalade and solera/flor-like notes, classic Muscat grapiness, a touch of honey, perhaps even a hint of digestive biscuit and a subtle herbiness. And whilst your nose prepares you for a sweet wine, the palate is very definitely almost dry, with only the fortifying grape spirit contributing a perception of "off-dryness". Conversely, the texture is quite rich and unctious, coating the mouth with delicious grapey, marmaladey, buttery/biscuity and nutty flavours, yet remaining steadfastly refreshing and distinctly tangy. In fact, there is even a touch of salty flor-like character to it, which would no doubt appeal to Amontillado lovers. I should say here and now that I am no Sherry lover (apart from rich, sweet Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez wines, which appeal to my sweet tooth) but this really is a wine for contemplation. The length, by the way, is immense - unlike Parker, I'm not one to put the stopwatch on, but we're talking minutes, rather than seconds. The more I contemplate this wine, the more I am growing to love it. I could try and categorise it, but that would be unfair to a wine that is - albeit by accident, rather than design - pretty unique. In short, it is completely and utterly lovely. And whilst it isn't going to be cheap, at around £15 for a 50cl bottle, I think it is worth every penny. 15% abv.


Louise Hurren said...

love the story of MO2 - winemakers should share more stories like this. it's fascinating to hear about experiments and - yes - mistakes, even. thanks for this post.

Leon Stolarski said...

Thanks, Louise. Incidentally, I forgot to mention that the production of this wine runs to just 200 litres - 400 x 50cl bottles. And Jon's projected drinking window...... 100 years!

Alexis said...

I've liked it.
I need to get a bt from you Leon just to make sure.

Leon Stolarski said...

Glad you liked it, Bernard. As you know, I opened it on Wednesday, and didn't write my note until today. It just gets better and better.

Anonymous said...

Leon, short question, why is the Domaine d'Archimbaud Vendanges d'Automne only a Vin de Table?

Leon Stolarski said...

Vinoremus - For the full story (and my tasting note) on the Archimbaud stickie, see

Briefly, it is made from grapes which are picked very late and already partially-raisined on the vine. There is no AOC (or even Vin de Pays) for such a wine - as is the case for the Treloar MO2 - and therefore it is a "mere" Vin de Table.

It is a shame (but also an undoubted fact) that some of southern France's finest wines - not just unusual wines, but also some damn good dry/table wines - are consigned to this most humble of denominations.

By the way, I hope you enjoyed the other stickies. ;-))

Jon Hesford said...

The full story of MO2 is that after loading the press for the Muscat de Rivesaltes, it failed to work. Tom, Lydia and I got what juice we could by treading the grapes then we sealed it up and waited for the engineer to come the next day. When we pressed the must, the juice was brown so I put it in an open-top fermenter and let it do its stuff, thinking it would be going to the distillery. After fermentation it had this appealing nutty character. I fortified it slightly and put it in a oak barrel 3/4 full which I kept outside in the sun for a year.

I'm not sure I could repeat this wine even if I tried.

Leon Stolarski said...

You *should* give it a try, Jon. I think you are onto something with it. It is (in my experience) unique - and delicious! I look forward to the 2011......... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Leon, thanks for the explanation, I thought it was probably something along those lines.

I look forward to trying the other stickies - I think we're on to a good start. The '02 De Bortoli Semillon was superb as well, an absolute steal at that price.

When will you be stocking the Treloar MO2? Sounds very interesting.

Leon Stolarski said...

Vinoremus - I have it in stock now, and just need to get it (and the rest of the new Treloar wines) loaded onto the website. I'll be getting on with that later today. You're on my mailing list, so you'll be amongst the first to know.