Localization: Languedoc, South of France, France
Tasting Notes: Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas is a bright ruby color. Ripe wine, loaded with red fruits on the nose. The mouthfeel is concentrated, with soft tannins, and tastes of raspberry, cassis, blueberries, and blackberries, with a great length.
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: All Grenache brought up in demi-muids and aged on lees for 8 months, the medium ruby/purple-hued color of the 2019 Cuvée Nicolas is followed by a killer bouquet of kirsch liqueur, savory spices, cured meats, and peppery garrigue. It is rich, medium to full-bodied, and gorgeously textured, it has wonderful richness with no sensation of weight or heaviness. It’s another insane value from this team.
The Domain: Jean-Marc farms (with some help!) 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. Some of his family’s vineyards are situated a few kilometers from the Mediterranean, while others can be found further inland in the foothills of the Pyrenees or near the village of his birth, Maury. This range of sites allows him to make both refreshing whites, rich, concentrated reds, and fortified wines as well. Benefiting from a warm, dry climate, the estate is farmed organically. They grow primarily Grenache (Blanc, Gris & Noir), Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Marsanne, Roussanne and Chardonnay with a significant proportion of his vines well over 50 years old. The soil, as you near the coast is weathered alluvial gravel while in the higher elevation sites it is predominantly schist. They harvest by hand and the winemaking is surprisingly uncomplicated with stainless steel for the fresher whites but mainly concrete tanks for the reds with a judicious amount of large French oak barrels for aging.