Southern France

Southern France
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, May 07, 2011


2007 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Black licorice and earth on the nose, plus some raspberry and floral notes. More fruit on the palate than the nose. Blueberry, raspberry, and cherry, with wet leaves and spice at the end. (90 Points)

2007 Domaine la Soumade Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau Cuvée Prestige – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau Smoke and tar on the nose, with blackberry liqueur underneath, and hints of violets toward the end. Much fruitier on the palate, but with the same burnt wood flavors. (89 Points)

2007 Domaine La Roquette Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Earth and perfume on the nose, with small amounts of dark fruit. The palate has more fruit upfront, with the perfume and earth underneath. (89 Points)

2008 Clos La Coutale Cahors – France, Southwest France, Cahors Lots of bitter chocolate and dark black fruit on the nose. There’s also hints of braised cabbage and tomatos. The backend has some spice and vanilla. The palate starts off with pepper and black fruit, and slowly adds in green vegetables and dark chocolate, and finishes with spice notes. (88 Points)

2009 Vignerons de Caractère Vacqueyras Seigneur de Fontimple – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vacqueyras Extremely fruity nose – mainly red fruits, with hints of damp earth and pepper. The palate is fruity like the nose, giving it quite a bit of sweetness. There’s some slight earthiness in the middle and some spice on the finish. (87 Points)


2005 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape The nose had roasted coffee beans and cigar leaves, some veal stock and cherry, and some spice. Rich and juicy on the palate, with lots of red fruit and earth. The mocha comes on strong on the mid-palate and the tobacco on the finish. (91 Points)

2007 Nicolas Jaboulet / Perrin Frères Ermitage – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage Sweet red berries on the nose, with truffles and pepper underneath. Rich and meaty is the best way to describe the nose. Much meatier on the palate, with the fruit taking a backseat to the earth/meat flavors. The finish is spicy with some wood ascents. (91 Points)

Moqueca De Peixe

Here’s a nice fish stew. I used Dover Sole and also added some shrimp (mainly because I had some leftover shrimp I needed to use). I also doubled the recipe because I like leftovers. If you do the same, you don’t have to double all the vegetables unless you want to. I also didn’t have dende oil (palm oil), so I just used all olive oil.


Moqueca De Peixe (fish Moqueca)


  • 2 lbs. fish (any white fleshed fish like red snapper, grouper or red fish)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small tomato roughly chopped, 2 medium tomatoes sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 bell peppers (1 green and 1 red) sliced into thin rounds
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped, 1 large onion sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dende oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • pickled jalapenos thinly chopped, to your taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces.

  2. Combine 1 small tomato, 1 small onion, 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor and process until pieces are very small. Mix it with juice of 1 lime.

  3. Cover both sides of the fish with this mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  4. Use the half of the bell peppers, tomatoes and onions cut into round slices and half of the remaining cilantro to make layers on top of each other in a large saute pan.

  5. Cover those layers with the fish and the marinade.

  6. Make other layers with the remaining bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and cilantro to cover the fish. Add the jalapenos (I use 1 teaspoon for mild flavor).

  7. Drizzle everything with olive oil and dende oil. Add coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of salt, stir, cover with a lid and cook over low heat, until the flesh starts to flake, about 20 minutes.

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