Tag Archives: Southern

Domaine Lombard Grand Chêne Côtes du Rhône

Braised Impulse

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème, France

Fellow wine lovers, within the Southern Rhone Valley of France there lies a specific village known as Brézème. It’s name is derived from the French word for “braise”, in reference to the area’s baking warm weather. Brézème bears the soils of the Southern Rhone (where Grenache blends are the standard), but the climate of the Northern Rhone (where single varietal Syrah wines are the norm). This unique confluence of climate and soil makes the village one of few places in the Southern Rhone from which you can grab a 100% Syrah wine, such as those of Domaine Lombard.

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème $22.99

Decades ago, the wines of this village were nearly made extinct by phylloxera, a bug that likes to eat the vines and their roots. Sylvette Lombard was a key contributing in helping to restore Brézème, ensuring that it doesn’t disappear from the wine map for good- while also establishing Domaine Lombard’s place in winemaking history.

Domaine Lombard’s “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône is sourced exclusively from the Les Chassis Vineyard, within the village of Brézème, and is 100% Syrah. It’s fairly nimble on its feet, not overly heavy, making a great red wine for warmer weather and backyard entertaining. It sees no oak treatment, rather it’s aged for 12 months in large concrete vessels, to help soften its structure and build depth of character. The nose has hints of violets, hickory, and freshly steeped tea leaves, while the smooth and medium bodied palate offers notes of cured meats and dark cherries, with a bit of blood orange and sandalwood chiming in on the background. A well balanced and classically styled Rhone red- right up my alley!

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème

Click here to order the Domaine Lombard Côtes du Rhône Brézème

Region: Côtes du Rhône AOC, Southern Rhone Valley, France

Vineyard(s): Les Chassis Vineyard. Elevations as High as 900 ft, Vines as Old as 20 Years

Grape(s): 100% Syrah

Aging: 12 Months in Concrete Tanks

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Medium

Drink This if you Like: Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Food Pairing: Rack of Lamb


Leah Jorgensen “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc

Pirate Impulse

Leah Jorgensen 2014 “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc

Fellow wine lovers, last year, Leah Jorgensen Cellars was named “Winery to Watch” by Northwest Wine Press Magazine. Leah is an up and coming winemaker who is working at the venerable Evening LandWinery, while making small quantities of wine under her own label.

Back in the day, she worked wine sales in Washington DC, but fell in love with what Oregon has to offer during a trip to the state’s wine country. She has a real passion for the grapes of the Loire Valley of France, and has gone against the grain in Oregon by putting the focus of Leah Jorgensen Cellars on varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, which can grow well in the slightly warmer parts of Southern Oregon. I’m told that in Oregon, Leah Jorgensen is known by her nickname, The Pirate Queen, and the imagery on the wine’s label is of her depicted as such.

Leah Jorgensen 2014 “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc $23.99 (Regularly $26)

The name “Loiregon” comes from combining the words Loire and Oregon, since Leah Jorgensen’s ultimate goal is to make Loire style wines in Oregon State. For this Cabernet Franc, she tapped two vineyards in two separate regions of Southern Oregon: Sundown Vineyard in the Rogue Valley, and Mae’s Vineyard in the Applegate Valley.

True to the French style, this is a lighter style of Cabernet Franc, aged in a combination of used French oak barrels and stainless steel vessels. The nose shows delicate fruit notes of dried cherries, crushed rose petals, hints dried leaves. The palate is medium-light in body and dry, tasting of preserves plums, brandied cherries, black tea, wet stones, and spicy herbs. I’m of the opinion that a gentle style of Cabernet Franc, such as this, is very versatile with food and can pair if a really wide variety of dishes.

Leah Jorgensen 2014 "Loiregon" Cabernet Franc

Leah Jorgensen 2014 “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc

Click here to Order the Leah Jorgensen Cabernet Franc

Region: Rogue Valley & Applegate Valley AVAs in Southern Oregon
Vineyard: Sundown Vineyard and Mae’s Vineyard
Grape: 100% Cabernet Franc
Aging: Used French Oak Barrels and Stainless Steel
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Medium-Light
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Lorie Valley Cabernet Franc, Savage Grace Cabernet Franc,
Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur
Press: Named “Winery to Watch” by Northwest Wine Press Magazine
Food Pairings: Roast Beef or Lamb, Roasted Vegetable
Production: 260 cases