Fine Wine Source Wine
Domaine Laroque & Cite de Carcassonne:
Laroque is made from historical vineyards in the ancient region of Carcassonne that produce an extraordinary and unique wine made from 100% Cabernet Franc. Laroque (from the Latin roqua) translated ‘The Rock,’ derives its name from the Menhir (single lone-standing stones that date back to the middle of the Bronze Age) which are found around Carcassonne. During the Middle Ages, the vineyards belonged to the Bishop of Carcassonne, who was renowned for making the best wines in the region. Local legend has it that the devil, upset with the Bishop of Carcassonne for stealing his ‘clients,’ tried to stone the Bishop with giant rocks. Following the attack, the Bishop constructed the fortress of Cazilhac with these Menhirs and marked the event by placing a cross on the last remaining Menhir. After this, processions were undertaken around this oratory and all the parcels of vines that surrounded it, including those of Laroque, in order to ward off the devil. The vineyards which produce Laroque have been making wine since the 6th century. Laroque Cabernet Franc is an easy-drinking wine that combines the structure, minerality, and dusty rose characteristics of Cabernet Franc with the lively, fruitiness of wines from the south of France. The Laroque vineyards are located near the city of Carcassonne, famous all over the world for its medieval city and the Canal du Midi, both classed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Situated between the Pyrenees to the south and the Black Mountains to the north, Carcassonne enjoys a privileged climatic position where the excesses of the Mediterranean climate are tempered by the softness of the Atlantic. This results in sunny, hot, dry days, but very cool nights. This extraordinary harmony in nature creates wines that are fresh, fruity, elegant, rich and balanced.
The average age of the vines for Larouqe is around 25+ years. They are grown in clay and limestone soils on hillside vineyards that experience alternating warm winds from the Mediterranean, humid winds from north-west Narbonne, and dry temperate winds from the Atlantic. The grapes are destemmed and pressed gently. Fermentation is completed with fresh oak to enhance aromas and structure. A ‘remontage’ (pump-over) is performed 3 times a day until ‘delestage’ (racking of the wine during fermentation to soften tannins). Then 2 pump-overs daily are done toward the end of the maceration period and there is no fining, but filtering is done prior to bottling.
100% Cabernet Franc
Appears as a crimson robe in the glass, the nose hints of subtle raspberry, rhubarb, with spicy and tobacco aromas. In the mouth the elegant and silky tannins bring a very feminine touch to this wine. Laroque Cabernet Franc is a special wine that defies competition. It is unique in its combination of concentration of fruit, attractive aromatics and body. 90pts from James Suckling
Domaine Laroque is a medium-bodied, fresh and fruity wine, with luscious flavors of red berry and vanilla. Enjoy it alone or paired with Mediterranean cuisine, Asian cuisine, pasta, lamb, chicken, pizza and hamburgers.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Spicy, rich, and layers of complexity with a long and lingering finish. Best with spicy meat dishes!
Fine Wine Source Wine
Marty Peterson comes from a family with a rich farming history. In 1904, his great-grandfather, Carl A. Peterson, made his way by ferry to Lodi, an agricultural community at the mouth of the Sacramento River Delta, 60 miles east of San Francisco, where he founded the family ranch. For more than a century, the Peterson family has farmed 100 acres in the Lodi region, now planted to fine wine grape varietals, as well as Bing cherries. The fourth generation of growers from the family property, Marty grew up in a community of farmers who shared a similar commitment to the land. The childhood friends and family relationships forged over many years are still firmly in place, giving him an insider’s insight—and connections— into this important, emerging winegrowing region. Marty received his Bachelor of Sciences in Enology from Fresno State University in 2002, giving him expertise on the cellar side and refining his natural farming knowledge. Peterson joined Vintage Wine Estates in 2011 as winemaker for Viansa Sonoma; in May of 2015 he was then appointed Winemaker at Cosentino Winery, where he draws on his deep roots in the Lodi region, as well as his knowledge of the Napa and Sonoma appellations, to create uniquely expressive wines of balance and complexity. Cosentino Winery is renowned for creating the first designated and licensed Meritage wine, Bordeaux inspired blend (The Poet) that set the standard that others would follow in Napa Valley.
In 1990, ‘THE’ Series was introduced with ‘THE Zin,’ showcasing the best grapes from the Lodi AVA and paving the way for ‘THE’ Series of wines. ‘THE’ Series is now our largest volume collection of wine from the Lodi AVA. 2016’s THE Dark is a proprietary blend of Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months is French oak barrels. The grapes for THE Dark were hand-harvested in Lodi, an AVA known to benefit from the cooling Delta influence. The 2016 harvest was notably even and steady, providing balanced yields of quality fruit which allowed us to craft a wine with both freshness and depth of fruit. Don’t be afraid of THE Dark – enjoy now or over the next three years.
Undisclosed percentages: Predominantly Petite Sirah blended with Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
THE Dark lives up to its name with an inky dark hue in the glass and rich aromas of plum, blackberry jam and blueberry cobbler. The palate is dense with fruit flavors, pepper spice and vanilla barrel toast leading to a brooding finish that is smooth and opulent.
THE Dark can hold its own against slow-roasted short ribs and rosemary-crusted lamb or a slow cooked herb-crusted bottom roast with carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, and stewed tomatoes; however, it is equally delicious to indulge in after dinner alongside aged Gouda or flourless chocolate cake. THE Dark would also be a perfect pairing to Valentine’s chocolates and a romantic candle-lit evening with your sweetheart!!
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Big, rich, and chewy…A full throttle Wine that way overachieves; best served with BBQ!!!