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A Bargain Priced, 90-Point Red from the Winemaking Master Lafage - 12/18/2017 - French Regional Wines

This downright delicious red from winemaking talent Jean-Marc Lafage perfectly encapsulates everything we love about the wines from Côtes du Roussillon. Fresh, fruit-driven, fragrant and supremely enticing, it delivers on every level and does so at a market low price of $7.99. The critics love to lavish praise on the wines from Lafage, and for good reason as they truly are category defining efforts, but the press and points aren’t the only reason so many gravitate towards these gems. In terms of QPR and pure drinking pleasure, Lafage stands at the top of the heap. Simply put, the wines are so good, it’s hard to put them down. As Jeb Dunnuck notes in his 90-point review, the 2014 Tessellae-Old Vines GSM “is uncomplicated, but rich, fleshy and very well balanced.” In other words, it’s pretty much everything we look for in an everyday red. Hand-picked, sourced from old vines, and fermented in concrete to preserve freshness, Lafage makes all the right moves in crafting wines that combine pure deliciousness and a true sense of place. All of this is made all the more remarkable when you weigh in its deeply discounted price. This “pinch-me-this-can’t-be-real” price is par for the course for a master like Lafage. If you are looking for go-to red, we strongly recommend you pick up the glorious 2014 Tessallae.

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2014 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae-Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon (Previously $13) Price: Hidden

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A stunning bargain from Lafage is the 2014 Tessellae Old Vines, a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre, all aged in concrete. Much of it comes from 70-year-old vines planted in limestone and clay soils. A delicious, dense ruby wine with notes of red and black cherries, earth, spice, pepper and a touch of Provençal garrigue. Fresh vibrant acidity is also present, and the wine is uncomplicated, but rich, fleshy and very well balanced. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. This estate, which has created these custom cuvées with its importer Eric Solomon, has been on fire, producing gorgeous wines, whether they be white or red. (JD)" (07/2015)

K&L Notes: The Tessellae is a joint venture between importer Eric Solomon and winemaker Jean-Marc Lafage. The Tessellae wines are old vine vineyard sources farmed by Lafage to his exacting standards. The Old Vines GSM is a blend of Grenache Syrah and Mourvedre from vines averaging 65 years of age on primarily schist soils. All grapes are hand harvested and the winemaking is done in concrete tanks to preserve the vibrancy of the fruit. Year after year, wine after wine, Lafage delivers the goods.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2017

Shouting it from the rooftops - "Jean-Marc Lafage produces southern France's greatest values." Critical press aside, Jean-Marc's wines pinch the nerve that get people to buy and rebuy his wines over and over. The Bastide Miraflors was one of our greatest success stories this year and it's not just all press. You (and we) as consumers just love drinking these wines. There is a hedonistic pleasure in all of them and I think this overlooked gem is the perfect representation of that notion. The "Old Vines" is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre but it is at once greater than its parts. Rich red fruit flavors of candied strawberry and red cherry are surrounded by supple tannins and ripe long finish. It is pure pleasure in a glass. Since the supplier is ready to move onto a new vintage we have an outstanding price on this. This wine is sure to please all comers from holiday gift giving to Christmas parties and of course your everyday drinking needs.