Saturday, 13 August 2011

A profound Californian Syrah

Alright, so I said I was going to publish a report on my visit to Domaine de La Marfée today, but that has been almost 2 months in the making (it's a bit of an epic!) so it can wait a day longer. But tonight, I just have to tell you about a rather wonderful wine, which is worthy of its own post - in fact, two posts, because I first wrote about this wine as recently as June. That was a wonderful bottle in it's own right, but tonight's bottle left me in complete rapture with it's sheer lovliness. Actually, I think it is an interesting exercise in comparing (my own) tasting notes, so without the benefit of actually reading what I wrote in June, here's what this latest bottle did for me.....

Goodness me, this is so incredibly prefumed. Heady aromas of leather, meat, flowers, woodsmoke, iodine, mixed spice, damp earth, truffles and polished mahogany. I guarantee, they're all in there. Oh, and masses of fruit, of course - blackberries, blackcurrant and dried citrus peel. It really does have the most complex nose you could ever imagine. There's a wildness about it, almost reminiscent of a young Trévallon, or - dare I say it - a touch of the Chateauneuf. The nose would lead you to think the palate would be all about the savoury, but not a bit of it - the flavours are intense and vibrant, with a core of ripe, concentrated red and black fruits, allied to the most lip-smacking acidity and ultra-ripe tannins. I'm almost minded to describe it as velvety, but that would be a disservice, because this wine has such beautiful grip, with a balance and structure that is nigh-on perfect. The flavours linger for an awful long time on the finish, whilst the not insubstantial 14.6% abv merely serves to add yet more definition.

I am not often moved to describe a wine as "great", but for me, this really is a great wine, in the real sense of the word. And although it is so good to drink now, it could well turn out to be absolutely profound, given another 5 to 10 years in bottle.

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