Earlier this month we took a road trip to Ann Arbor, to grab a spot of lunch and to visit some wine destinations. Our team of four was Green Dragon and me plus the Cabinator and Glorious T.
After lunch at a Paesano’s Wine Bar, we squirted in to Morgan & York. Morgan & York is a cool purveyor of European wines and handmade cheeses. Being there for the first time, I was drawn to the wine displays and began checking them out.
Glorious T, who had suggested our visit, immediately checked with one of the staff members about the scheduled wine tasting. The staff member replied that there was no wine tasting scheduled. Glorious T, like a cowboy at a high noon showdown, quickly drew her cellphone and displayed the website listing the tasting. In a matter of minutes, a southern Rhone tasting was assembled near the front door.
The first wine was Domaine Alary 'La Gerbaude' 2011 Cotes du Rhone. It’s rare when the first wine at a tasting is the favorite, but it does happen. In this case, our crew was drawn to the silky texture and robust dark fruit of this Grenache-Syrah blend.
Before our next wine, Glorious T announced she didn’t want to be “that” customer, but wasn’t a snack usually served with the wine. A few moments later, cheese and crackers arrived. The next wine poured was Domaine les Grands Bois 2013 'Trois Soeurs' Cotes du Rhone. This “three sisters” blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignane is made from vines aged 30 to 60 years. This is a fresh and fruity wine with a berry and violet taste. The consensus was this needs a bit more aging.
The final wine of our tasting trio was Domaine Catherine le Goeuil 2012 Cairanne. This is also a Cotes du Rhone with more complexity than the first two. The blend is 51% Grenache, 17.5% Syrah, 17.5% Mouvrèdre, 7% Carignan, and 7% Counoise. The tannins were more pronounced and the flavor was imbued with smokiness. The price of $29 was the highest of the three. The others were $17 and $18 respectively. This one was my favorite.
We had a couple of take-aways from our visit (even beyond the bottles we bought). First, Morgan & York is a great destination for lovers of fine food and wine. Second, there are many values to be found in French wine, particularly the Rhone blends that feature Grenache and Syrah.
With anticipation, we look forward to our next visit.