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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diploma in the Rhone

For the Rhone lecture, held on 13th October, the students got a decent range of wines to taste (as I pick the wines, I would say that wouldn't I? LOL). As always, stockists/suppliers in parentheses, details at the end.

We started with Domaine Martin Côtes du Rhône 2007 (WWC), which I thought was both very good and also good value for money at €13.75. The 2007 vintage is rated highly and this wine definitely over-delivered being rich and deep as well as very drinkable. This was followed by Domaine Martin Cairanne 2005 (WWC), at €16.99 being more expensive, but showing very good structure. The general feeling was that this wine was actually overshadowed by the quality of the first. This domaine makes very good wines and their basic CdR is not made as a simple, easy wine but rather as a wine which shows good Rhone style. The Cairanne was quite typical, being black-fruited and fragrant. You have to wonder why Cairanne, which is possibly the most recognisable of the CdR Communeaux wines isn't a Cru and how Vinsobres, for example, is.
The next was Domaine du Joncier “Le Gourmand” Lirac 2007 (JN) €17.29, a very rich and supple wine, but not warranting its Cru status, I felt. But the Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2001 (JN) €76.95, was a different matter altogether. It was very good, having that lovely sweet tobacco note of maturing red wine with great depth. The René Rostaing Côte Rôtie 2004 (JN) €59.25, was a little disappointing; 2004 was a decent year but the fruit was not great. The Jaboulet Condrieu “Les Cassines” 2007 (GL) €46.10, was typical but the Domaine du Tunnel Cornas 2006 (WWC), €44.45, was super being typical Cornas - big, deep and powerful but also very elegant. Finally, a real treat, the lovely and elegant Jaboulet Hermitage “La Chapelle” 2005, (GL) €83.30 - a very, very good wine.
All in all, I was pretty happy with these and, I think, the students got a good idea about the styles of wine produced in this oft-forgotten region of France.
The stockists are WWC = Wicklow Wine Company, JN = James Nicholson, GL= Gilbey's. The last named is a wholesaler and can only sell to retailers.

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