The charming frensh/austrian wine store La Cave is located in the 5th district of Vienna, Austria. The store imports their wines directly from France and is family run/owned. The personal touch and their direct connection with the wineries makes this store unique. They have developed a good amount of followers for the wines offered at the store and offer 6-7 tastings a year.
Wine store tasting can be sometimes compared to junkyard sales: you pay a fee and for exchange you get to taste mostly wines that didn't sell well. However, this wasn't the case with tasting the wines of what seems to be an excellent Rhone vintage: 2005. Rhone valley is one of their expertise and they are the sole importers of some of the most interesting domains from the Rhone: Janasse, Sang des Cailloux & Fondreche. These wineries and others were presented in very impressive line of Rhone wines from 2005 and a couple of 2006.
The tasting notes:
Domaine de la Janasse 2006 Rose Peach, summer fruits with a note of sweet aroma. Feels crisp and fresh, but falls a bit short on the finish. At 5.5 Euros (en primer) its a real bargin. Score: 87-88
Domaine de la Janasse 2006 Blanc Mellon, butter and feels very balanced. However it leaves a slightly bitter aftertast. Score 82-83
Domaine de la Janasse VdP Terre de Bussière 2005 This wine was the first really interesting in this tasting. Dried plums, red berries, earth and tar. It has a good structure and ample acidity. Medium finish. Excellent wine which is made of an unusual (for Rhone) blend of Merlot, Syrah, Grenache & Cabernet. Score: 89-90.
Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Nadal 2005 Cherry, blackberries, very fruity. A bit light on the mid palate but has a nice backbone. Overall a very nice wine which has the structure to hold for a couple of year. A bit too light for me. Score: 87-88
Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Persia 2005 Dark red berries, earth, very nice aromas. Just tastes bad - not recommended, i wasn't a corked bottle, just didn't deliver on the great aroma promise. Score: 75
Domaine de La Roubine Gigondas 2005 Rubber and flat aromas. Not so bad on the mouth, actually even a nice drink - but why bother? Score: 70 - or, I wouldn't take home even for free.
Domaine du Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras 2005 Very fruity and has a great sense of garden roses, its a very balanced and structured wine. Its great now, but promises to be even better. Score: 90-91. For 16.5 Euro its a real bargain.
Domaine de la Janasse CdP 2005 This wine is sexy yet powerful, I loved it. Kirsch, Mediterranean herbs smoked wood and just a mouthful of smooth balanced taste that continues with the long finish. It has a great structure and its current fruit needs some time to settle down. I would give it 2-3 years and then enjoy this beauty. Score: 93-94
Domaine de la Janasse CdP Chaupin 2005 Serious stuff! Concentrated Red berries, Cherry syrup - all feels very concentrated yet not jammy. It has hints of smoke and feels balanced. Looong finish that just doesn't get away. The best wine of the evening Score: 96-98
Besides the wines, the atmosphere during the evening was very friendly and welcoming. Not a formal tasting, but most of the participants took notes. It felt like a friendly gathering rather than a commercial event. Which made it easier to spend the money on buying some 05-s en primer.