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
David “MERF” Merfeld grew up on a family owned farm in Greene, Iowa, and has had the nickname “MERF” ever since he can remember. In 1990 his brother loaned him $1,000 and he loaded up his car with everything he owned and moved to Seattle. When he first arrived, MERF got a job working at a construction inspection company and started brewing beer as a hobby. In 1996, MERF quit his day job and went into brewing full time while he was attending beer school. In 1997, MERF was hired at Bert Grant’s Ales as a brewer, which was owned at that time by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. When the opportunity arose to apply his knowledge of fermentation science to making wine, he jumped at the chance to become involved in the Washington wine industry. MERF’s background and experience brewing is a unique point of differentiation from other winemakers. “My entire career I’ve been focused on the balance of subtle oak notes with the pure expression of Washington fruit. I want the customer to taste the Washington fruit, since it’s one of the attributes that really sets the Columbia Valley apart from the rest of the world. The unique growing conditions in Washington produce flavorful and approachable wines. At the end of the day, I make wine that I like and that I want to drink and share with friends. I create wines to be enjoyed.” David “MERF” Merfeld
The 2016 vintage experienced the best of both worlds with a hot spring and early summer, but also cool temperatures before and during the harvest. The cooler temperatures in August and September slowed down ripening and resulted in longer hang time for the fruit; consequently, it was the longest harvest on record for WA State (August 15-November 15). The fruit was sourced from vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley in Eastern WA, including Mike Andrews, Mercer Canyons, and Fountain Farm Mgmt. The valley lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mts. and receives just 6-8 inches of rainfall annually. Warm sunny days and cool evening temps create ideal conditions for intense aroma and flavor development in the ripening fruit. The northerly latitude gives the valley roughly 2 more hours of sunlight during the peak growing season than California, increasing the region’s ability to ripen fruit. The grapes were destemmed and inoculated with various yeast strains to maximize complexity. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation were employed to extract color & flavor and produce soft, supple tannins. 75% of the juice was aged for around 12 months in a combination of French & American oak, with the remaining 25% in stainless steel to preserve character & complexity.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc
The Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced, soft and approachable with flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and subtle spice notes; this wine has silky tannins and a flashy finish—From David “MERF” Merfeld.
BBQ Ribs, Grilled Steak, or a decadent & delicious slice (or two!) of Chocolate Cake!!!
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Rich & Opulent and loaded with flavors of blackberry and currant. It has an explosive and long finish that makes it best to serve with Ribeye or fatty Steaks!
“Our exceptional team is made up of two accomplished winemakers: Sara Gott, internationally acclaimed for her success at Joseph Phelps and her brilliant stint at Quintessa, is our head winemaker. We were thrilled to have Marie-Laure Ammons join Oakville East to assist Sara in 2009. After working in France at Domaine Lejeune in Pommard, Chateau de Pressac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Dulong Negociant in Bordeaux, Marie-Laure arrived in California in 1998. She also works with Philippe Melka and brings a remarkable French point of view to our winemaking and blending.”
A complex mix of refined Bordeaux varieties, with spice, currant, cedar, mineral and tobacco notes. Full-bodied, with a pleasant olive edge, turning more subdued and delicate on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
91 Points: This shows classic valley-floor aspects of dusty tannin, brushy sage and cedar, staying true to the Bordeaux varieties it holds. Pencil lead and mocha accent the medium-bodied background, while soft, pillowy tannins are approachable.
FWS Price per btl. $99.99
Case Price per btl. $79.99
tasting notes from the vineyard……
This monstrously beguiling wine, sutures together a full bodied, dark garnet preposterously multifaceted vivacious wine. A shockingly mischievous elegance defined by bewitching intense sweet blackcurrant, Fuji apple, hibiscus, plum, raspberry, cinnamon, and mocha aromas galumph into a fiendishly bright and balanced fruit, tannin and acid structure.
The grotesquely bright mid pallet fruit shuffles in exquisitely balanced flavors of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, key lime, stone fruit, cherry and plum that excite horror in those unfamiliar with our miscreant Cabernet Franc. Boris and Igor are very happy!
90 Points: Leather and peppercorn jump from the glass in this soft, strong wine, powerful in tannin and dusty earth. A gravelly, rocky component plays on the palate around waves of chocolate and black currant, finishing in herb.
FWS Price per btl. $99.99
Case Price per btl. $79.99
Our Pricing :
Regular Price -> $89.99
Case Price ( 12 bottles per Case) -> $79.99
75% Cabernet Sauvignon,
16% Cabernet Franc,
“Rich and full-bodied, with an alluring mix of loamy earth, dark berry, licorice and spicy oak flavors. Features a long, persistent follow-through. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2026.”
Bright, nearly opaque, ruby purple core with a narrow, moderate intensity rim and slow forming slightly stained tears. Intense and complex with aromas of ripe black fruit, baking spice, sweet tobacco, leather, cocoa, oak barrel elements with subtle smoky eucalyptus accents. Dry and full-bodied with rich black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and licorice spice notes on the entry. Savory, herbal and mint notes appear, followed by darkchocolate and smoky oak elements on the mid palate. The finish is very long and crisp with a complex interplay between the savory mid-palate and returning fruit of red cherry candy and sweet spice with a floral hint of violet, all framed by soft, chewy tannins. The 2013 ISOSCELES is drinking exceptionally well at release but has the structure to further develop beautifully over time.
Great with classic cab fare like rich braised short ribs or grilled leg of lamb with garlic and herbs, the 2013 ISOSCELES also drinks well on its own due to its exceptional balance of flavor and texture even when young.
Established in 1921 by Baptiste Dutheil, then developped by René Couly who married Madeleine Dutheil, the House of Couly-Dutheil has become the great name for Chinon. Today, Couly-Dutheil remains a family house owned by the third and fouth generation.
The Chinon region has all the qualities of the greatest soils. Its semi-oceanic climate is exceptionally mild and benefits of long sunny periods. The variety of soils and their particular qualities allows the Cabernet-Franc (98% of the vineyard) to express all its finesse and its celebrated “taffetas” within a range of strong personalities.
The sandy and gravelly plains along the Vienne river provide a great back drop for thirst quenching, light and fruity wines. The clay and flinty slopes, and flat-lands produce fine and subtle wines, while the clay and chalky hills bare sumptuous wines meant for ageing.
History of Chinon (Cabernet Franc) and its Relation to Couly-Dutheil: Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone – as in the Loire‘s Chinon. It can be bottled as a single varietal, or used in blends as well. It can also be made into ice wine in both the United States and Canada.
Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wineand contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, and cassis, sometimes even violets.
Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. DNA analysis indicates Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon Blanc.
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 13.5% by volume
Tasting Notes: Beautiful purple color, with very pleasant aromatics of green pepper and small red fruits. Fruity on the palate, making it easy to drink and very charming.
Food Pairings: A wonderful pairing with chicken, veal, and ham.
Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Loaded with an abundance of flavor! Gobs of fruit jumping out of the glass. The Chinon here is uninhibited and seamless. Layered with spicy and earthy tones; this is a great wine!”-JL