Below, a little historical recap of the notes and tasting notes of our Cuvee Constance oublished in the Wine Advocate
Wine Advocate # 165, Jun 2006
Drink: 2006 - 2009
A brilliant effort from St.-Emilion’s bad boy, Jean-Luc Thunevin, and Jean-Roger Calvet, this 2004 was produced from a 25-acre old vine vineyard planted with 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan. After aging in concrete vats, it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. It boasts tremendous intensity as well as a big, sweet bouquet of creme de cassis, black cherry liqueur, licorice, and roasted meats bathed in Provencal herbs. With superb purity, full body, and no hard edges, this savory, mouthfilling red will drink well for 2-3 years.
Wine Advocate # 173Oct 2007
The 2005 Constance (technically a “Cotes Catalanes” Vin de Pays) – consisting of Grenache with 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan – represents the only cuvee among the Calvet-Thunevin line-up not to be aged for 18 months in new barriques, but rather roughly half as long and exclusively in cement. Sweet and alluring aromas of creme de cassis and black raspberry jam lead to a palate of liqueur-like richness along with deep bitter chocolate and coffee as well as wet stone and lead pencil shadings. This excellent value offers an almost unprecedented amount of pure ripe fruit and resonance of finish for its price, and while it is successfully designed for impulsive (possibly even compulsive) consumption, it might well display more nuance with another year or two in bottle.
Wine Advocate # 178Aug 2008
A blend of Grenache with 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan, Thunevin and Calvet’s old vines 2006 Cuvee Constance serves as their entry-level wine, which makes the quality on display here quite extraordinary. Of course, this wine’s elevage accords with entry-level status: all in tank. But when you get a whiff of the cherry and plum preserves, coconut, mint, dark chocolate, vanilla and exotic spices emanating from the glass, you may well ask what level of toast was used for the concrete! A creamy texture complements the nearly over-ripe fruit character and inner-mouth perfume and spice, and faintly bitter notes of coffee and dark chocolate and pungent smokiness, along with notes of stone and lead pencil, add counterpoint to a long finish.
Wine Advocate # 183Jun 2009
Tasted from tank shortly before its intended bottling, the 2007 Constance – as usual, Grenache-based, aged part in cement and part in barrel – is vividly redolent of fresh black raspberry and blueberry. With its infectiously juicy, “cool” fruit character yet at the same time a striking sense of crushed stone and graphite, this long-finishing cuvee represents an outstanding introduction to its region as well as outstanding value.For six years, Roussillon native Jean-Roger Calvet and notorious Right Bank garagiste Jean-Luc Thunevin vinified the fruits of their vines around Maury (now being supplemented by high altitude acreage on granite in Lesquerde) in something genuinely resembling a garage. Now, they are ensconced in a spacious, architecturally-dramatic, Napa-like facility at the entrance to the town. Viticultural practice is evolving in a biodynamic direction, they report; primary vinification takes place in cement (stainless steel being used only for storage); and malo-lactic transformation and maturation in barriques and demi-muids, with the tendency now being to use an ever-higher percentage of the latter. The first Maury under this label (three barriques’ worth) appeared from vintage 2004, but Thunevin neglected to offer me a taste of it, and I was unable to subsequently catch up with a bottle. Two important points to note about future releases: due to trademark issues, the new domaine name “Thunevin-Calvet,” will begin appearing on bottles in 2009; and it is entirely possible that some of the younger wines identified here as “Cotes du Roussillon Villages” might instead be labeled as Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes.