Domaine de Durban Cru Beaumes de Venise Cuvée Prestige 2006

There’s no sense in beating about the bush here: this is one of the best wines I’ve drunk so far this year. I had to look this one up: Beaumes-de-Venise is an AOC in the southern Rhône that is primarily known for a VDN/fortified sweet white wine; until this bottle showed up at the house last week (as part of a special offer mixed dozen from Kermit Lynch in Berkeley), I had no idea that they made red wine there as well.This is in a sense your bog standard southern Rhône: it’s mostly grenache, there’s some syrah, and just a little bit of mataro there as well. The strange thing here is this: at first, this seemed to behave like a fairly typical New World fake Rhône: the nose was wonderfully rich, promising cherries and leather and rich, easy-drinking fruit. However, it also suggested caramelized sugars, still-drying tobacco, and medium-dark molasses as well; it was frankly fascinating.Things really kick into high gear once you get a taste of this wine, though, because it quickly morphs from New World fruit fiesta into a very, very traditional French wine, with thick, assertive tannins quickly demanding attention combined with that peculiarly French minerality that shows up in kind of a nearly-harsh, high-toned, almost-sour character that dominates the finish. It’s like sucking freshly pressed raspberries through finely crushed gravel in a Kentucky tobacco drying shed. All of it put together is utterly entrancing; I wish I’d ordered more than just the one bottle of this.Domaine de Durban
Price: $20
Closure: Cork

1 thought on “Domaine de Durban Cru Beaumes de Venise Cuvée Prestige 2006

  1. I also do not know that there was a red from beaume-de-venise. I had only ever had the white dessert wine.

    I came across this same wine at a barbeque this weekend and liked it very much. brought by a french expat. I was not surprised when i looked on the back and found that it was imported by kermit Lynch. I am almost always impressed with their wines.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Beautiful, clean design.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *