To round off the day, I went up the hill to visit Walter McKinlay at Domaine de Mourchon. The 2009s are not being bottled until March or April but we went down to the cave after tasting the wines that are in the bottle. Beginning with the 2008 CDRV Seguret Tradition, this is fresh on the palate with good depth of fruit. No Grande Reserve was made this year so the grapes that would normally be used in this cuvee were downgraded to the Tradition (and some of the grapes that usually go into that wine went into a Cotes du Rhone). A good bistro wine.
Perhaps not the usual order but we then tasted the 2008 Cotes du Rhone which I have had in stock for about a year now. This has really come on. It is quite mineral and fresh and has spicy Syrah/Grenache fruit. A good quaffing wine for a very fair price and comparitively low alcohol (12%) for the region.
As I mentioned earlier, no Grande Reserve was made in 2008 but the estate has perservered with the Family Reserve wines debuted in 2006. The barrel-aged 2008 CDRV Seguret "Family Reserve" Syrah has a classic Syrah nose of toasty black fruit which follows through on the palate combined with a pleasant freshness. A wine that can only be made from low yields in a vintage like this.
The 2008 CDRV Seguret "Family Reserve" Grenache is more unsettled at present with a more woody but less toasty nose and palate although it does open up well after a minute in the glass. Both these wines were produced from 60-year-old vines harvested at 15 hl/ha and fermented in open barrels, a technique that seems to be gaining in popularity (I came across this quite a lot in SW France in the summer, notably at Chateau du Cedre for the GC cuvee and Domaine Rotier for L'Ame).
Inevitably, the younger vintage provided more excitement. The 2009 CDRV Seguret "Tradition" is around 2/3 Grenache, 25% Syrah with Carignan making up the balance. It is a spicy, young wine that needs a couple of years to develop its big, black cherry character.
The 2009 CDRV Seguret "Grande Reserve" is, typically, excellent with a good ten years in it. It is rich and sweet fruited - cherry liqueur, blackberries etc - and very long. Surely one of the better wines outside Chateauneuf and Gigondas?