Domaine Lafage - La Retro 2021 (1L)
Here is where I would normally launch into the story behind the wine.. and I have that too, but let first just cut to the wine… this description by Tamlyn Currin for jancisrobinson.com is better than anything I could have written. If this doesn’t sell you on the wine…
“Cheeky, cheeky, cheeky! Ping-pongs around the mouth, paintballing cherry wine gums and raspberry fruit chews and Parma-violet candy in all directions. (Don’t get me wrong, though – the wine is dry, not sweet; just so packed with such cheerful fruit that it’s like being flash-mobbed by singing strawberries!) The tannins are not even an afterthought. They were abandoned in the press along with all pretensions and all thoughts of tomorrow. I love it!”
Feel free to just scroll to the bottom for the order link… or read on…
I first stumbled across this wine in December 2020, while I was looking at the winery website for some information on one of the wines we were selling. The label captivated me. So too did the outline of a description they provided…
“The Roussillon from the time of my parents…”
And thus began an 18-month quest to get the wine. I’ll spare you the details… because all you should really care about is the wine is finally here! And we’re the first in the US to have it!
So what do we have?
Long before Jean-Marc Lafage became the international superstar he is today, his father and grandfather sold most of their grapes to the local cooperative to be turned into a hearty dessert wine. When harvesting those grapes was done, they would pick the vineyards that never quite ripened enough to make them suitable for the higher alcohol vin doux. As the importer explains, “These sites were out of the way, sheltered, inauspiciously situated, and slow to ripen. And the style of wine made from them was satisfying, moderate in alcohol, light in body, and with a juicy fruit expression that perfectly suited family meals and everyday drinking. This was when wine was less of a lifestyle and more an integral part of a well-balanced life.”
Looking to recapture Les Annees Folles (“The Crazy Years”), Jean-Marc has produced la Retro as an homage to his forebearers. Packaged in a 1 Liter bottle, this is wine meant to be drunk on a daily basis, with or without a wine glass! Roughly 60% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 7% Grenache Gris and 3% Lladoner.
What’s Lladoner? I’ll let the importer tell you; “It’s only 3%, so really, who cares, but if you’ve read this far, you’re probably the sort that likes details. Lladoner is Grenache with fuzzy leaves and smaller clusters of fruit. It is generally spicier and less flash than its smooth-leaf cousin. Genetically it is identical to Grenache, but some genes were scrambled in the past resulting in these changes. Like all things this obscure, it has a cult following.”
This baby was meant for food… at 12.5% alcohol, it is sturdy enough to handle just about any food you can throw at it, but light enough to drink with more delicate meats or vegetables - grilled shrimp, burrata and tomatoes, tuna poke, sushi, etc. But you can also pop the cork with burgers, ribs or carnitas! I’ll take a case, please.
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Artwork does not necessarily represent items for sale.