Rhone Report 92
"Darker and earthier than the Serge & Nicolas, the 2009 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon Malgré Les Fonctionnaires (meaning 'In Spite of the Bureaucrats' due to the AOC regulations requiring a minimum of 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan) is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Carignan, with both the Syrah and Carignan aged in oak for 6 months. Even better than the outstanding ’08, and with a deep, semi-opaque purple color, it displays fresh, pure aromas of mineral-laced blackberries, smoked earth, crushed stone, and subtle wild herb nuances on the nose. Medium bodied and balanced on the palate, the wine is light and fresh, showing a chewy, mineral-driven finish that brings to mind the act of actually licking a rock. Like the Serge & Nicolas, this needs an hour of air to shine and possesses an overall elegant, fresh profile with the class really showing on the finish. An awesome value, this beauty should be purchased by the case and consumed over the coming 4-6 years." ~Jeb Dunnuck
Wine & Spirits 91
"Importer Dan Kravitz launched this estate in 2007, making wine from 13.5 acres of grenache he’d bought in Maury. Wanting to produce an AOC Cotes de Roussillon, which limits grenache to 70% of the blend with other authorized varieties, he leased some vineyards of syrah and carignan from his vineyard manager (thus the name “in spite of the bureaucrats”). Made by Nicholas Burger at the local cooperative, this is fragrant with notes of roses and spice and juicy with cherry fruit. A savory herbal note keeps the wine lifted, and firmly in the south of France. To buy by the case for summer grilling."
Wine Advocate 90
"From Grenache - with a bit of Syrah and Carignan acquired via a rental agreement in order to permit classification as A.O.C. - the Cabirau 2009 Cotes du Roussillon Malgre les Functionnaires ("Despite the Bureaucrats") delivers sweetly-ripe scents and juicily-generous flavors of grenadine and black raspberry, with nips of white pepper and pleasantly astringent impressions of berry seed serving for invigoration in a palate-staining finish that preserves a distinctive sense of crushed stone and peat underpinnings. Firm and bright as it is, this outstanding value is likely to open up with another year or two in bottle, just as it did in the glass after opening."
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