James Molsworth of the Wine Spectator has been heaping praise on Walter McKinlay's 2006 and 2007 wines from his spectacularly situated estate - Domaine de Mourchon - in Seguret. I have tasted all these wines recently (at the Domaine at Christmas and Easter and on Wednesday at the LIWF - as well as the 2006 a couple of times in between) so it is interesting to know what others think after I have made up my own mind.
Top of the pile is the 2007 Family Reserve "G" (the pure Grenache cuvee) which scored 91 points with the words "Very enticing with blueberry, fig and boysonberry fruit laced with spice, fruitcake and melted liquorice notes. The long perfume- and graphite-filled finish is nicely rounded and plenry deep." 200 cases made. There are differences of opinion as to whether this wine should be enjoyed in its fruit-filled youth or held on to see how it develops. I think it has all the necessary ingredients and will certainly hold back a couple of bottles for the longer term but I have already been enjoying the 2006 so will probably do the same with this vintage.
Next the 2006 Grande Reserve also gained 91 points: "Very dark showing fig and currant paste notes but very racey with graphite, freshly drawn espresso, bittersweet cocoa and black tea notes helping to extend the long, alluring finish. Nice underlying grip." 3,000 cases made. This is classic Southern Rhone Grenache/Syrah aged in understated new oak (not all of it, probably around 40%), just beginning to come round to the drinking stage.
The 2007 Family Reserve "S" must feel like the poor relation with a mere 90 points! "Dark and broad with crushed plum, hoisin sauce and black liquorice snap and fruitcake notes backed by a fleshy, toasty finish. Racey and long, with lingering violet notes." 200 cases made. This is the essence of Southern Rhone Syrah with lots of peppery black fruit with more than a little crunchiness. Very good but I wonder if I prefer the blend?