Monday, October 17, 2005

Patrick Lesec Selections

Patrick Lesec does not own or operate any vineyards. Instead, he believes in having the freedom and flexibility to shift production to other estates, in order to produce superior wines in any given year. In this way, he can capitalize on the area with the best weather conditions and best growing season.

Wines in the Patrick Lesec Selections include three categories of products. First, there are estate wines that Patrick consults as a master wine maker on the production, and these wines are bottled under their own labels. Second, Patrick produces wines at individual estates and bottles them under his label. Third, there are other domaines whose style and philosophy are compatible with Patrick Lesec's that he markets.

Chateauneuf du Pape les Galets Blonds

With an explosive finish, Vintage 2001 of this variety is 93% Grenache and just 7% Syrah, imparting a heady wine with many layers of texture. The spicy characteristics of this wine are more peppery, but with a hint of thyme ad licorice. Toasty and powerful, Lesec's Chateauneuf du Paper Les Galets Blonds is a dry, full bodied wine with hints of kirsch liqueur. With a strong backbone and lovely deep color, this wine is rustic and excellent with any hardy meal.

Cotes du Rhone Cairanne Vielles Vignes

Dense, smooth and supple, the Cotes du Rhone Cairanne Vielles Vignes is a lovely dry red wine from the Southern Rhone Region of France. Made from a blend of 3-4 grape varieties that are primarily Grenache, plus a mixture of Syrah, Mourvedre and sometimes a little Counoise, this is a complex wine with multi levels of flavor and aroma. The finish is sweet and long, with bright red and black currant fruit and soft round tannins. With a rustic charm, the Lesec's Cotes du Rhone Cairanne Vielles Vignes is quite good. Vintages from 2003 is not quite up to the standard of the 1999 vintage, but it is still an excellent choice. 1998 and 2001 are quite good, and a nice value for the money.


From the Southern Rhone region of France, Lesec's Vacqueyras is 65% Grenache and 25% Syrah. Peppery, earthy and full bodied, the 2001 Vintage is quite excellent. A deep ruby color this wine is firm and dry, with a firm finish and a subtle sweetness. Lovely notes of blackberry complement the rustic flavor. The 2003 Vintage is also quite good, and this wine carries a reasonable price. Excellent when paired with casual and hearty beefy sandwiches or a more formal meal featuring red meat.

Chateauneuf du Pape Chasse Temps

Try vintages 2001 and 2003 of the Lesec's Chateauneuf du Pape Chasse Temps for an excellent dry red with a very different taste. Described as "kinky" this full bodied, tank-aged wine is 66% Grenache and 34% Mourvedre. With spicy aromas and gamey flavors from the Mourvedre grapes, while the Grenache impart a smoky bouquet. Considered rather a controversial wine, it is certainly worth checking out. Excellent with beefy meals that can stand up to this distinct wine.

Chateauneuf du Pape Marquis Tonneaux

70% Grenache and 30% Mourvedre, the Lesec's Chateauneuf du Pape Marquis Tonneaux is dense and rich with layers of ripe tannins. The finish is long and sweet. Vintage 2001 is characterized by the aroma of toasty oak. With a deep ruby color and elements of blackberry, cherry, roasted herbs and an intense character, this wine is complex and full bodied. From the Southern Rhone area of France, this dry red wine is an excellent companion for roasted meats and hardy stews.