I was going to post about something completely different tonight, but I'm still working on that and dinner is almost ready and Match Of The Day is on soon, so it will now have to wait until tomorrow. Meanwhile here's another tasting note. I know I've posted more than enough of those recently, but I make no apologies for this one. And, whilst I've also been banging on about various biodynamic wines recently, this one doesn't fit into that category. That said, most of my growers produce wines at least from sustainable farming practices (lutte raisonnée), and this is one of them, from the cooler northern part of the Languedoc - and it is wonderful.
50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan. A deep-ish purple core, fading gently to a ruby rim - a very youthful, bright colour. Bramble and red cherry aromas abound, with subtle nuances of orange peel and even a faint (but intriguing) whiff of apple. Notes of garrigue, roasted meat, tobacco and eau de vie complete the package. It is aged in oak barrel for a year but (and I know I keep saying this) the use of oak is so masterly that it hardly shows in the finished wine at all. In the mouth, it is rich and mouth-filling and full of gorgeously fresh red and black fruit flavours that linger on the tongue for some considerable time. A touch of the savoury, combined with velvety tannins and juicy acidity lends the wine a certain sweet and sour quaklity. The finish is fresh and balanced and the length is very impressive. The label says 13.0% abv, and I believe it - Saint-Saturnin is a relatively cool and elevated area of Languedoc and the grapes always ripen a week or two later than in most of the low-lying areas, making for fresh, balanced wines with slightly lower alcohol levels. I have tasted (and sold) several vintages of this wine and I think this is the best yet - better even than the superb 2001. And although it is already soft and delicious, it certainly has the structure to age beautifully over the next 5 to 10 years. A brilliant wine, from a very underrated grower and appellation. £13.95.