Here is another post that has enjoyed/endured a rather long gestation period. I enjoyed these wines more than a few weeks ago, but simply haven't had the time (or do I mean energy?) to write my notes up - which is a shame, because they are lovely, and from one of my "undiscovered gems" in Provence, Villa Minna. I believe that - partly, if not entirely due to my having included a couple of the current vintages I list in a sampler case I sent to Chris Kissack at the Wine Doctor - Villa Minna actually sent some of their later vintages for Chris to review. Which he did so, on his blog, as long ago as February - which just goes to show the extent of my procrastination! Looking back at his notes, he clearly enjoyed the white more than the red, but I loved them both and have a feeling that the red has much more to give, over the next 5 to 10 years. Here are my own notes on those very same wines...........
Minna Vineyard Blanc 2009 Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône
Pale, shiny gold colour. The nose exhibits complex aromas of apricot, quince, orange blossom and clove, with subtle roasted nut/almond and toasty oak nuances. The palate is rich and expansive, yet at the same time complex and subtle, with flavours of preserved white fruits, lemon oil and again a suggestion of roasted nuts. There's a subtle warmth and spiciness too, with hints of fine Calvados and a licoricey quality, but with just the right amount of acidity and minerality. There are plenty of savoury, herby and rich buttery/pastry notes and a lingering, tangy, spicy apple pie quality to the finish. I happened to take another bottle of this to the Nottingham Wine Circle a couple of weeks ago and it went down a storm. I think the consensus was that, although it isn't Trévallon (which costs 3 times as much) it is pretty damn good wine! And as it happens, I took the remains home with me and am sipping the last half-glass as I type (a full 2 weeks later) and it is still really singing. In fact, it is even more integrated and complex, with ample acidity showing through (a good sign for long-term ageing) and all of those fruity, spicy, herby, mineral flavours to the fore. It really is delicious!
Minna Vineyard Rouge 2007 Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône
I wrote my note for this on day 2, which gave it plenty of time to open-out and show its true colours. A lovely nose - bramble, plum and cassis fruit aromas combine beautifully with notes of new leather, creamy oak, sous-bois, patisserie and orange eau de vie. Not to mention a veritable pot-purri of exotic spices and herbs. Clearly, the Wine Doctor should have let this wine breathe for 24 hours! It really is beautifully lifted and perfumed, all of which comes through on the palatewith vibrant red cherry and black fruit flavours, ripe, spicy, grippy tannins and really mouth-watering, citrussy acidity. And despite (or perhaps because of) those grippy tannins, it all makes for a deliciously tangy, sweet and sour (and considerably long) finish. It may be packed with rich, ripe fruit and flavour, but it is no soupy Rhone-alike, because it is actually rather elegant and light on its feet. From a great year, this is just lovely! Revue du Vins de France - 15.5? Wine Doctor 15? Come on! Enjoy now (with food) or in another 5 to 10 years or more. A real cracker.
I currently sell the 2005 and 2006 Minna Vineyard reds, along with the 2007 and 2008 whites. And they are lovely too, so if you haven't tried them, I promise you - you should. And at £17.80 per bottle, they do provide rather excellent value for mony, when compared to many of Provence's other top wines. Hopefully, the 2007 red and 2009 white will be in stock later in the summer.
Right - I'm off on holiday, to the south of France! And my regular readers will know what that means - lots of new posts over the next couple of weeks!