A must-buy from Waitrose this weekend

4 May 2007 by JR

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I have said before that Waitrose is the place to buy wines from Roussillon, perhaps not unconnected to the fact that the head of wine buying owns a little vineyard down there. Here's an outstanding example, Domaine Lafage, Cuvee Centenaire 2006 Cotes du Roussillon Blanc, currently reduced from £6.99 to £5.49.

Seventy per cent of the blend is made up of the limited produce of low, 100(!) year-old Grenache Blanc bushvines plus 20% Roussanne and 10% Macabeu. Almost a third was barrel fermented  with extensive batonnage and the rest made reductively in tank. Only a tiny proportion went through malolactic so it's still very lively as well as having the richness from those old vines constantly refreshed by winds off the Mediterranean. I noted a slightly saltiness in fact before I read where the vines were located.

It's not at all heavy - just extremely interesting, as is the wont of Roussillon whites. I ended my tasting notes by writing perhaps not very elegantly but in heartfelt fashion "I feel like contacting the producer to tell them they're being ripped off." It's not as refined as Le Soula Blanc but it is much, much better than the price differential suggests.

There's a red version too at the same prices Domaine Lafage, Cuvee Authentique 2004 Cotes du Roussillon Rouge made, notably gently, of 60% Syrah with equal parts of Grenache Noir and Carignan. You will not regret buying this bargain either.

Both can be bought  online by the case for the equivalent of only £5.21 a bottle here but I suspect this online special offer may cease on Monday like the instore reductions - although see members' forum for news of how you may be able to buy this wine, in quantity, for even less.

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Tags:  Roussillon
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