The peripatetic Jerome Quiot, owner and winemaker of Famille Quiot, an historic winemaking family in Chateauneuf -du-Pape, was in town last week and we had the opportunity to taste a collection of his new releases at the Vineyard in McLean.
Famile Quiot produces wines from four estates in southern France: Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, Domaine Houchart, Château du Trignon, and Domaine Duclaux. Jerome is the 13th generation of his family making wine.
Jerome is pictured here with wife Geneviève, and children Florence and Jean-Baptiste. The family’s winemaking history dates back to 1784 when Antonie Quiot acquired a few hectares of vines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape which today, the Domaine du Vieux Lazaret consists of 110 hectares. The Domaine Houchart a 60 hectare estate, is located next to Aix en Provence and is owned by Geneviève (who inherited it from her grandfather) and is managed by Florence and Jean-Baptiste. The Château du Trignon, a 70-ha estate that encompasses several appellations: Gigondas, Rasteau, Sablet et Cotes du Rhone, and Vacqueyras, was acquired in 2007. And, the 14 ha Domaine Duclaux of old vines, 50 years on average, is one of the oldest estates in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Famille Quiot wines are friendly and approachable wines, fruit forward and modern. They are generous and mouth filling, round and concentrated with flavor and varying degrees of complexity. Jerome likes to vinify his wines using concrete vats and judicious amounts of oak foudres for aging. He uses some cold soaks, and de-stems his wines, although is not adverse to using stems in selected cuvees, but generally seems to prefer purity of fruit flavors. All in all, his wines are enjoyable to drink and very food friendly. He is also a very nice guy.
The wines are imported by JW Seig Wines, Charlottesville, VA.
Domaine Houchart 2013 Rosé Côtes du Provence ($16) 88+ This lovely rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Salmon pink in color, it offers fresh and crisp red berry fruit with touches of minerals. It has ripe fruit with hints of citrus and a long crisp finish.
Château du Trignon 2012 Roussane Côtes du Rhône ($18) 89 This 100% Roussane has a pale yellow color and aromas and flavors of apricot, honey and butterscotch. It is beautifully balanced and rich in flavor, compared to many others we’ve tasted.
Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2010 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc ($40) 92 A blend of 45% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 20% Bourboulenc, and 5% barrel-fermented Roussane, this delicious wine offers complex aromas and flavors of stone fruit, minerals and herbs. It exhibits roundness in the mouth, fleshiness on the palate and a long persistent finish.
Chateau du Trignon 2011 Côtes du Rhone ($12) 89 The Côtes du Rhone is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah with a dash of Mourvedre. It is fruit forward and delicious with pure red fruit aromas and flavors. It is nicely balanced and round with soft tannins and a persistent finish. A pleasant tasting, easy drinking wine.
Château du Trignon 2009 Rasteau ($25) 87+ The Rasteau is not as approachable as the Côtes du Rhone. Traditional in style, it is a medium-weight blend of Grenache and Mourvedre and exhibits red and black fruit flavors with lots of earth, smoke and dry tannins.
Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge ($40) 91 This Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend 67% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and the rest of local varieties, all destemmed. Modern and generous in style, it is very fresh and fruit forward on the nose and offers delicious concentrated red fruit and earth on the palate. Aged 18 months in vats and foudres, it is also nicely balanced with firm tannins that would benefit from an additional year or two of bottle aging, although the wine can be enjoyed now.
Domaine Duclaux 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge ($45) 91+ The Domaine Duclaux Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 4% Syrah and 6% other native grapes, partially de-stemmed and aged in cement and oak barrels. The 50-year-old vineyard is composed of sandy alluvial soils and stones with clay and limestone on the slopes. The wine is traditional in style exhibit power and earthy qualities with moderate fruitiness and hints of leather. It is still rather tightly knit with firm tannins at this stage of development and 15% alc. It is a wine that can be enjoyed now or continue to age for another decade at least.
For more on the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape and the southern Rhone, consult the i-WineReview’s Report # 39 The World of Grenache.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler