We don’t buy by the Parker scores but there’s no denying Robert Parker is a kingmaker of wineries, able to catapult them to heights with a great review. So it’s always a little strange when we find ourselves agreeing with his service’s assessment of a wine (not just a numerical score, which we find useless). Of the 2005 Domaine De L’Oratoire St. Martin Haut Coustias we just brought in, Parker raves: “Outstanding. A huge, peppery, Provençal nose of kirsch, blackberry and cassis is followed by a full-bodied wine with plenty of muscle, richness, and depth.”
We agree. We popped one of these open the weekend it came in and absolutely loved it. Enjoying it with a delicious rib eye, we found herbs and spice and a touch of mint on the nose with dark fruits and a subtle chocolate-y undertone on the palate. We were also pleasantly surprised to find developing notes from the few years of age on it, a nice preview of the how this wine will evolve in the years to come. A blend of mourvèdre, grenache and syrah, this red ages for 24 months in Burgundy oak barrels before release. Haut Coustias is this winery’s top label so grapes for it are sourced from the vineyards on the St. Andéol hills, thought to be on par with many of the Rhône’s better Crus such as Gigondas and Chatêauneuf-du-Pape, though the vineyards technically fall in the Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages Cairanne appellation.
However, there’s one aspect on which we disagree with Mr. Parker: price. He lists this wine as retailing for $32 a bottle but through Father’s Day we’re offering it at $25, 12 bottles or more for $22.50, (that’s almost 30% off). Quantities limited, first come, first served. To order, call (718) 797-9463.
Remember, if you’re buying for Father’s Day, there’s no need to tell dad what the wine cost you. We’ll leave it up to you whether you want him to think you’re generous or smart.