The Organic Essence Of Provence

By Robert Parker

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Under the dynamic leadership of Christophe Delorme, Domaine de la Mordorée has come of age over the past decade. Delorme's family farms 135 acres spread throughout the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac, and Tavel appellations (the latter renowned for its delicious rosés). Mordorée produces multiple cuvées, and the following wines, all from vineyards that are farmed either organically or biodynamically, represent the essence of Provence. They are about the purest wines one could possibly taste.

2004 Côtes du Rhône la Dame Rousse

90 points.

This wine is a blend of 40% grenache, 30% syrah, 15% cinsault, and the rest carignan and counoise. Displaying terrific black cherry and blackberry fruit, licorice and spice box characteristics, good underlying crisp acidity, and medium body, this is a serious Côtes du Rhône to drink over the next three to four years. $13

2004 Lirac La Dame Rousse

90 points.

No one makes a better Lirac than Mordorée, as evidenced by this offering. It boasts a dense ruby/purple color, gorgeous levels of opulent cherries, full body, and terrific concentration. This wine is a steal at the price and should drink well for four or five years. $19

2005 Tavel Rosé

90 points.

Made primarily from grenache, this tank-fermented and seriously endowed rosé exhibits good acidity, loads of raspberry characteristics, surprisingly big body, and heady amounts of alcohol. It should be enjoyed with food. $19

2003 Lirac Cuvée de la Reine des Bois

93 points.

Equivalent to many of the better Châteauneuf-du-Papes, this 2003 Lirac, a blend of equal parts grenache and syrah, reveals a dense purple color and a big, sweet nose of crème de cassis, blackberries, licorice, crushed rocks, and white flowers. Fabulous intensity, richness, and length all make for a remarkable wine to drink over the next five to eight years. $37

2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois

96 points.

This was a challenging vintage, but Mordorée's offering (70% grenache, 10% mourvèdre, and the rest equal parts cinsault, counoise, syrah, and vaccarese) is extraordinary. An inky ruby/purple color and a sweet nose of blackberries, camphor, licorice, spice box, and violets are followed by a full-bodied, rich, layered beauty that should drink well for 15 or more years. $117

2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois

100 points.

A blend of 78% grenache, 10% mourvèdre, and small quantities of cinsault, counoise, syrah, and vaccarese, this wine boasts an inky/purple color as well as a heady perfume of graphite, blackberries, kirsch, licorice, truffles, and charcoal. Full-bodied with endless concentration in its pure, dense, generous flavors, it has beautifully integrated acidity, tannin, and alcohol. Made from 60-year-old vines and aged both in cask and foudres (extra large barrels) from what were obviously very low yields, this classic needs three to five years of cellaring. It will last for two decades and is an example of what progressive winemaking can achieve without abandoning tradition. $295

Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.

Visit for the Internet's most active wine bulletin board, tens of thousands of tasting notes, or to order his recent book, The World's Greatest Wine Estates: A Modern Perspective. You can also subscribe to Parker's newsletter, The Wine Advocate. Request a sample copy at: The Wine Advocate, P.O. Box 311, Monkton, MD 21111

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