A lovely visit and tasting to Domaine Saint Sebastien with its owner Mr. Peronne, who owns the lively Collioure restaurant that overlooks the sea, is on a busy boulevard, and is a great favorite with locals who like the food and ambiance as much as the excellent Saint Sebastien wine.
On this day, soon after our arrival we are whisked away to a more atmospheric spot with sales manager Pierre GIrault for our wine tasting which takes place in an ancient looking stone farmhouse that had been converted into an aging room for the wine and a tasting room for VIP guests such as ourselves.
We begin the tasting with some excellent dry white wines which include the 2016 Clos Saint Sebastians, made from the typical Collioure blend of white and grey Grenache with some Vermentino. The second wine is a similar blend, but it had been aged for nine months in 600 litres old oak barrels and given battonage to create a richer mouthfeel.
The red Clos Saint Sebastien Inspiration Marine 2015 is 90% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache Noir. It is incredibly well made and delicious, tasting of crushed rocks, violets, and has iron minerality. It takes its name from the vineyards located from the sea. There is no oak here – just inox.
It is interesting to compare this to the Clos Saint Sebastian Inspiration Celeste 2015, which takes its name from the vineyards located by the mountains. It is made of Grenache Noir and Carignan and has very structured tannins. It is aged in oak barrels for 9 – 15 months.
A real treat comes our way with the 2016 Grenache Noir, which is jammy with ripe black fruit like the inside of a hard handy. It is a sweet wine with 95 g/L of residual sugar and 16.0% abv.
The Inspiration Hors d’Age (a blend of wine with the youngest 20 years old) is truly and inspiration, tasting of cocoa beans and dried plums and structured tannin from the schist soil. It is a mix of wine blended in large old barrels and small demi johns in the sun.
To top everthing off is the Banyuls Grand Cru, tasted from its cask. It had very rich, concentrated flavors and will be priced at $85.
It was a great visit with some truly stunning wines.