News & Reviews
A noted US blogger, Allen Mott, writing on the website of Joseph & Curtis has picked up on the 2008 vintage that we have recently run out of in the US, and gives us a great write-up! Read the whole thing here, or below for a couple of quotes:
"The 2008 Domaine of the Bee is the perfect artisan wine to convey the complete spectrum of the wine experience."
"We happened to get our hands on what seems to have become something of a cult legend in the UK"
Another great review from Helen McGinn - aka the Knackered Mother's Wine Club
Current red in the rack: Domaine of the Bee 2010, £20, buy direct here
You might remember this one, I bought it last year for the Husband. And he loved it so much, this Christmas he got more from the newly released 2010 vintage. It is a HUGE red from Roussillon in the South of France, from vineyards near the town of Maury. It is a blend of Grenache and Carignan, aged in oak barrels for well over a year. Not for the feint-hearted, definitely needs food and best served on a cold winter's night in generous-sized glasses so that the wine can breathe and open up in the glass as you drink it. Such a beautiful, brooding wine, positively radiating black fruits and spice. And even better, it is made by a friend of mine, a fellow ex-supermarket wine buyer. See here for a great description & pics of how they make it. Love that he's gone on to actually make the stuff whereas I remain on the sofa simply drinking it (dark chocolate within reach, of course).
Our 2010 Les Genoux received a warm write-up from Jamie Goode this summer:
Domaine of the Bee Les Genoux 2010 IGP Cotes Catalanes, France
A field blend of mainly Grenache and Carignan. This is the best barrel, bottled separately. Lovely black cherry and plum fruit that’s ripe, but which also has aa grainy, mineral, savoury streak to it and good tannins. Lovely concentration and a nice savoury, mineral quality. 92/100 (£29 from www.domaineofthebee.com)
Natasha Hughes, a leading food and wine blogger, wrote the following on her blog:
The 2009 Domaine of the Bee (£20, Domaine of the Bee), an IGP des Côtes Catalanes (IGP is the new designation for what used to be called Vin de Pays) is an impressive, statuesque wine with powerful garrigue-tinged flavours of ripe plums and blackberries. The ripe tannins have a pleasingly rustic edge to them, and there’s a lovely feeling of freshness that goes a long way towards balancing the 15% alcohol. At the moment the oak feels quite overt, but the wine has the depth and power to age well, so there’s plenty of time for it to become more integrated over the course of the next year or so. Decant for an hour or two before serving. 16.5/20.
Natasha Hughes said this about our 2009 Les Genoux:
The yields for the ‘standard’ bottling of the Domaine of the Bee 2009 were, at 8 hectolitres per hectare, extremely low, but those of the domaine’s top wine, ‘Les Genoux’ 2009, were eye-wateringly tiny. Just four hectolitres of wine would have been obtained from a hectare of this particular parcel – if it was that large, which it isn’t. As a result, there’s none of Les Genoux left. The only reason I’m telling you about it is that I thought it showed a mineral complexity and refinement above and beyond the sheer power of the Domaine of the Bee, so if you’re intrigued, get in quick when the 2010 is released.
Olly Smith gave us a fantastic review in the The Daily Mail on the 2nd June:
"First sip – yes this wine is huge and ogres everywhere would roar with delight at its mighty hoof. But there’s something more to it than pure brawn. It’s a wine with complexity – from the symphony of spices that lingers once you’ve sipped it to the sheer exuberance of the fruit. This wine feels exactly like it should – warming wine from a hot place."
"Feel the buzz! Grenache meets Carignan in a head-to-head fist fight for supremacy. Joyfully intense, rich, fruity, tongue-spanking wine with spice and concentration, to make your guests quiver and capitulate to your every whim."
To read the full review, click here
Hugh Johnson (possibly the world's favourite wine writer), wrote about Domaine of the Bee in 'The World of Fine Wine' magazine - Issue 35. Here's what he said:
"Domaine of the Bee takes super-ripe classic Midi grapes to the point where if feels though not another grape, or grape's worth of fruit flavour, could fit in the bottle. The intensity can be almost painful, but somehow the edges are all planed away. You bring out your killer cheese at the end of the meal, and wine like this is nirvana."
We've made it to The Sunday Times!
In what has to be Domaine of the Bee's biggest success to date, we were reviewed by Bob Tyrer in The Sunday Times on the 8th January, in an article about British 'sentimentalists' living the dream by making their own wine. Not only did Bob give us a great review: "Sheen of bright fruit over intruiging minerally depths", he also bought a case with his own money!
Stephen Cronk, creator of the lovely Provence rose Mirabeau, swapped some bottles with us. He emailed just now to say "The 2009 is stunning. Had a bottle on Wednesday." So is your rose Stephen! (I think Waitrose still have some left)
On the 28th December, Douglas Blyde, wine writer, posted the following comment on our facebook wall: -
"Poised, polished, classy, authored - beautiful wines..."
Jamie Goode - aka www.wineanorak.com, and co-author of fantastic new book 'Authentic Wine', says the following in his blog http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/france/domaine-of-the-bee-2009 on the 17th December:
Domaine of the Bee 2009 IGP Cotes Catalanes, France 15% alcohol. Ripe and quite alcoholic but with nice definition to the lush balckberry and black cherry fruit. Nice fruit purity and plenty of concentration. Certainly pushing the ripeness boundary but gets away with it, and the sweet, lush liqueur-like fruit is really seductive. Reminds me of a top Alentejo wine with its fruit profile, and a delicious wine for now and near-term drinking. 91/100 (£20 per bottle or £200 per case – website here)
If you haven't caught up with the Knackered Mother's Wine Club, I suggest you sign up! It is written by Helen McGinn, and ex supermarket wine buyer who has a really down-to-earth and unstuffy take on the world of wine, and her blog is great fun to read. About Domaine of the Bee 2009, she declares: "Oh my lord, this is the winiest wine I've enjoyed for a while. It is ENORMOUS with great lugs of bramble fruit wrapped in spice and just when you think you can relax along comes the alcohol (15% people!), forcing you to sit down and eat more. I loved it. Bearded Husband loved it....This would make a really good Christmas present for the wine lover who has everything, mainly because it looks beautiful, full of promise, more than delivers on that promise and you have to be in the know to get it. And now you know." http://knackeredmotherswineclub.blogspot.com/2011/11/lights-camera-actionaid.html
A great review from Richard James an expert on the wines of the Languedoc Roussillon:
Richard says Domaine of the Bee is a "sumptuous old Grenache & Carignan based red"
2009 Domaine of the Bee IGP Côtes Catalanes (15%) - touches of coconut oak but not too much adding texture and roundness to its ripe tannins and fruit, offering up sweet liquorice and blackberry flavours; powerful mouthful although that 15% alc. is surprisingly well hidden among its concentrated lush black fruit and damson mix with nice peppery edges too; attractive soft tannins vs light bitter chocolate twist and subtle dry grip, this is drinking nicely already actually.
Andrew Neather wrote about us in the Evening Standard, a few days before International Grenache Day
Domaine of the Bee 2009, IGP Cotes Catalanes. "Made from some of the many very old vines near Maury, in the Cathar badlands west of Perpignan, this is a seriously beefy wine. Made from 55% Grenache, and the rest Carignan. Big, rich, smooth, with a fair slug of oak. Made in tiny quantities (just over 4,000 bottles) by English owners."
Jancis Robinson, wine writer for the Financial Times, said about the 2008:
"The second vintage of UK professional wine buyer Justin Howard-Sneyd and his wife from Grenache and Carignan grown in Maury. Super-ripe nose, not unlike a young 2007 Châteauneuf. But with quite a bit of freshness on the palate and then some of Carignan's grip, and some minerality, on the finish - though I am tasting this at a much earlier stage than I tasted the 2007. More assured and fruitier in the middle than the 2007 - though very strong! Much more flavour in here than in the average supermarket wine. 16+ / 20"
Joanna Simon (who was The Sunday Times wine critic for 22 years) chose Domaine of the Bee 2008 as her 'Wine of the Week' on the 24th September.
"A powerful, rich red with intense black-fruit aromas, edged with sweet garrigue herbs and smoky oak. The palate is rich-textured with fresh black-pepper, dark chocolate and coffee-bean flavours, together with a mineral note and the sort of underlying acidity that give the wine essential freshness but which will also keep it going for years to come."
Anthony Rose wrote about us in The Independent on the 4th September:
"A blend of mainly grenache, with some carignan, the 2008 Domaine of the Bee, £20, £16.50 by the case, displays sweet, smoky aromas and blackberryish fruit with a spicy, chocolatey richness and savoury acidity."
....and in his blog on the 13th September:
"With its pretty, embossed label, the 2008 Domaine of the Bee is a vivid, youthful ruby in colour, with sweet, smoky aromas of oak and mulberry, the fruit rich, ripe and fleshy, blackberryish with a spicy and almost chocolatey richness. It’s powerful stuff, New World in style, fleshy and fruit-laden with firm tannins and the saving grace of really good, savoury acidity."
"In contrast the 2007, is softer and more
approachable now, with some sweet chocolatey fruit but not so dense and more
damsony-savoury, the wine to drink now while the 2008 goes through its paces in
Jamie Goode, probably England's most respected wine blogger, wrote about us at wineanorak.com - http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/grenache/domaine-of-the-bee-a-new-high-end-roussillon-wine
"Impressive early releases"
Domaine of the Bee 2007
"Lush, brooding, sweet dark cherry and plum. 89/100"
Domaine of the Bee 2008
"a delicious wine in a modern mould. 91/100"
.....and we have had a number of great comments from various other bloggers and commentators:
Martin Noble - lead guitarist for one of our favourite bands - British Sea Power - tasted Domaine of the Bee 2008 recently, and was moved to declare
“It’s very tasty!”
Winesleuth (aka Denise Medrano) http://winesleuth.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/domaine-of-the-bee-roussillon/
"it’s big and bold while at the same time, smooth as velvet"
"a pure delight to drink"
"These are not wines for the fainthearted...."
"They don’t make much so snap’em up while you can."
Ryan Opaz - adegga.com - http://www.adegga.com/wine/AVIN3196800154436
"Great wine, seriously fun."
"beautiful balance and structure with a lovely cherry chocolate"
"layered and showing sweet fruit, and complex cocoa".
"a wonderful treat that I hope to try more of in the future"
Leon Stolarski - http://leonstolarski.blogspot.com/2010/09/domaine-of-bee-un-bon-vin.html
"Stylistically, it feels like Roussillon meets California"
"I bet the Americans like it. Actually, I do too"
"I'd love to taste it again in a few years' time."
We'll keep you posted as more good reviews come in....
The 2009 is stunning. Had a bottle on Wednesday
The 2009 is stunning. Had a bottle on Wednesday