The Southern Rhône blend is the 2016 Metier, which is 42% Grenache and 36% Mourvèdre, with the balance Cinsault. Violets, peppery spice, cedar, and sweet black raspberry fruits all emerge from the glass and it’s ripe, rounded, and medium to full-bodied on the palate. There’s some subtle background oak, but this is upfront and ready to go.
(made in a high percentage of large-format oak, with none of the casks younger than four years old; Beaucastel is the model for this wine, according to winemaker Gorski): Dark red with ruby highlights. Aromas of blackberry, licorice and tree bark, plus a spicy nuance. Combines compelling spicy intensity and serious thickness of texture, with its red berry and spice flavors showing virtually no greenness. Concentrated, broad, rich and long, finishing with substantial dusty tannins. Incidentally, the team did not make this wine with whole clusters. "We don't like stems, but we did include some in our 2016 Syrah," noted Gorski.
Bright, dark red. Brambly red berries, crushed cherry, spices and hints of smoked meat and herbs on the nose. Plush, sappy and utterly seamless, conveying a creaminess of texture to the flavors of dried red berries, cherry and tree bark firmed by underlying minerality. Really terrific flavor intensity here without any heaviness or phenolic roughness. The pH is "3.8 at the most," according to winemaker Chris Upchurch, and the very long finish is lifted by a pungent note of pomegranate.
Two-thirds of this grenache-syrah-mourvedre blend comes from Ciel du Cheval on Red Mountain, with the balance from the Boushey and Stone Tree vineyards. The fruit from Red Mountain surely accounts for the density of the wine, the dark, feral tannins and the dark blue core of fruit within while the cool fruit from Boushey seems to give it elegance and lift. For lamb stew. (800 cases)
Refined and well-structured, with focused smoked cherry, licorice and peppered meat flavors. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Drink now through 2023. 800 cases made.
A final blend of 40% Mourvedre, 37% Grenache, 19% Syrah and the balance Cinsault, the 2014 Metier is beautiful, with a voluptuous, rich yet still graceful and lively style. Offering up lots of raspberry, spice, herbes de Provence and licorice aromatics, this medium to full-bodied beauty is impeccably balanced, has no hard edges and a great finish. I'd happily drink bottles over the coming 6-7 years, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see it keep longer.
(no new oak; this wine was previously called Doyenne Metier Red Wine): Moderately saturated medium red-ruby. Cherry and flowers on the nose, plus some suggestions of exotic fruits. Suave, creamy and complex. offering impressive palate presence to the flavors of purple fruits, violet, tree bark and pungent pepper. The small Cinsault component helped to lower this wine's alcohol level, noted winemaker Chris Upchurch, but it's still a lofty 15.3%. Finishes with very suave tannins, lovely balance and excellent length.
I loved the 2013 Doyenne Metier Proprietary Red Blend, and this mix of 39% Mourvedre, 36% Grenache and the rest Cinsault offers ripe, textured, downright sexy notes of ripe black cherries, ground herbs, melted licorice and caramelized meats to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, unctuous style on the palate. Beautifully concentrated, textured and with solid underlying structure, it should continue to drink beautifully through 2025.
Good dark red. Sexy, sappy aromas of raspberry syrup, licorice and wild herbs. A fat fruit bomb of raspberry, strawberry and boysenberry, complicated by clove and meaty nuances. A wonderfully plush, broad, dry blend with a slightly liqueur-like ripeness that lends itself to early consumption. Spreads out horizontal on the lingering, ripely tannic back end.
(a southern Rhone blend of 39% each Grenache and Mourvedre, 20% Syrah and 2% cinsault): Bright ruby. High-toned aromas of blackberry, wildflowers and Moroccan spices. Juicy, fine-grained and light on its feet, conveying wonderfully perfumed flavors of blackberry, wild herbs and flowers, cumin and black olive. Really explosive fruit here, extended by lively acidity through a long, floral finish. This beautifully balanced wine combines Old World savoir faire with New World fruit intensity.
The estate's Southern Rhone-style release, the 2012 Doyenne Metier Proprietary Red Blend is 39% Grenache, 39% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah and the rest Cinsault. Deep ruby and mostly opaque, it offers up classic black cherries, black raspberries, roasted herbs, pepper and hints of leather to go with a medium to full-bodied, ripe, layered and balanced feel on the palate. Possessing more than a passing resemblance to a quality Chateauneuf du Pape, this is a great Rhone blend from Washington.
(40% grenache, 35% mourvedre and 25% syrah; fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral French oak): Good deep red. Captivating aromas of strawberry leaf, cherry and blood orange. Supple and smooth on the palate, with superb texture and depth to the slightly high-toned flavors of red fruits, spices and orange. Boasts terrific lift and spine for a southern Rhone blend. Finishes generous and long, with a complicating saline quality.
Looking at their Doyenne releases (i.e. their Rhone blends), the 2011 Doyenne Metier is a mix of 40% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre and 25% Syrah that offers up a Cotes du Rhone-like bouquet of garrigue, licorice, kirsch and assorted spices to go with a medium to full-bodied, supple and layered profile on the palate. Up-front and ready-to-go, enjoy this outstanding blend over the coming 5 - 6 years.
Starting the reds, the 2010 Doyenne Metier is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah that saw mostly (75%) neutral oak. Coming from the Boushey and Ciel du Cheval Vineyards, it offers up a knockout bouquet of ripe red and black berry fruits, licorice, roasted meats and hints of graphite to go with a full-bodied, voluptuously textured mouthfeel that keeps you coming back to the glass. Decadently styled, yet also pure, balanced and fresh, it should impress for 7-8 years. Drink now-2021.
(a blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre: "our Chateauneuf du Pape blend," notes executive winemaker/partner Chris Upchurch): Bright dark red. Spicy red berries, cherry and rose petal on the nose. Sweet, plush and pliant, with bright candied red berry and floral flavors complicated by spices and earth. This rich, highly aromatic wine finishes very long, with tannins that are virtually invisible.
The estate’s southern Rhône release and a blend of 51% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, and 17% Syrah, the 2009 DeLille Cellars Doyenne Métier Red shows outstanding Grenache flair, with wild strawberry, spice, bramble, Provencal herbs, and earthy scents flowing to a medium to full-bodied, supple, and polished red that has excellent richness, yet stays light and clean on the palate. Straight up delicious and oh so drinkable, it should be enjoyed over the coming 4-6 years.
(40% each grenache and mourvedre with 20% syrah) Bright, full ruby-red. Expressive nose combines blackberry, black cherry, licorice, black pepper and flint. Sweet, lush and silky but with integrated acidity and a piquant pomegranate flavor giving verve to this generous wine. Best today on the vibrant finish, which features crushed berries and lovely floral lift.
The 2007 Metier is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, and Syrah produced from 80% Red Mountain fruit and aged in seasoned oak. Aromas of underbrush, damp earth, brier, cherry, plum, and blueberry lead to a savory, ripe, fruit-driven offering with plenty of grip and length. It can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years.
(50% mourvedre, 33% grenache and 17% syrah) Good deep red-ruby. Superripe plum and raspberry aromas complicated by a tarry nuance. Rich, ripe and pliant, with a slightly wild earth and rust character to the strawberry and spice flavors. This very full blend finishes with ripe tannins and excellent length. This wine contained only 25% mourvedre in 2006 and is now "more Southern Rhone in style," notes assistant winemaker Chris Peterson. This impression may have been accentuated in this 2007 by the fact that no new oak was used.
An interesting blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 33% Grenache and 17% Syrah, the 2007 DeLille Cellars Doyenne Métier Red possesses a deep, opaque color as well as full notes of black cherry, fresh earth, meat and hot asphalt on the nose. The Mourvèdre is front and center and the wine has a full, meaty character. This is impressive on the palate and shows a solid, full mid-palate, sweet fruit, fresh acids and a long, focused finish. Ripe and structured, this should drink well over the next 10 to 12 years.
The 2006 Metier, a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, and 20% Syrah sourced primarily from the Red Mountain AVA. Doyenne’s version of Chateauneuf du Pape is deep crimson-colored with a superb nose of cinnamon, sage, incense, strawberry, rhubarb, and cherry. Smooth textured and layered on the palate, it has plenty of lively acidity, sweet fruit, and a plush, elegant personality. It is meant to be enjoyed over the next 8-10 years.
A delicious, sexy blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre, the 2005 Metier Red Mountain boasts a deep ruby/purple hue along with notes of blueberries, black cherries, camphor, meat, roasted herbs, and a touch of anise. It is a sensual, medium to full-bodied red with a velvety texture, and a voluptuous finish. This stunning wine will be exceptionally food-friendly if consumed over the next 4-5 years.