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MWG June 21st tasting: report (4/4)

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Coteaux du Languedoc 2007, Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian ($38.00, 11661074)
Syrah (45%), Grenache (30%), Mourvèdre (25%) from 30-year-old vines except the Grenache, which was planted in 1925. Each grape variety is vinified and aged separately. Six to nine weeks’ maceration in concrete and old stone vats with little pumping over. The Syrah is transferred to barrels for malolactic fermentation. Aged in second, third and fourth vintage barrels and demi-muids for nine to 18 months according to the variety, then in stainless steel vats. Unfiltered. 14.5% ABV.
Dark fruit, Asian spice, earth, “pine coney.” Full-bodied. Weighty without being heavy. Heady, packed with ripe fruit, suave tannins and just enough acidity. Long leathery/charry finish. Intense but fine. Needs time. (Buy again? Tempted but will likely wait for the reportedly fleeter 2008.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2009, L’Orée, Clos des Nines ($24.25, 11661091)
A ten-year-old estate. The name refers to the owner’s three daughters (nines in Langue d’oc). Grenache (50%), Syrah (25%), Cinsault (25%). Fermented and aged in vats. 14.5% ABV.
Winey, sawed wood, eventually resin. Mouth-filling but not galumphing. The ripe fruit, soft tannins and pulpy texture are kept sprightly by the fresh flavours and acidity. The fruit slow-fades to spice and earthy minerals on the finish. The supplest, least serious wine in the flight, this has backyard BBQ written all over it. (Buy again? If looking for a Languedoc vin plaisir, sure.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2009, Grès de Montpellier, Château Saint-Martin de la Garrigue ($23.95, 10268828)
Old-vine Mourvèdre (52%), Syrah (27%) and Grenache Noir (21%). Whole-grape maceration. The Mourvèdre and Grenache are destemmed. Batches are selected and blended as soon as fermentation is completed. Aged in second or third vintage demi-muids for 16 months. Repeated racking but no fining or filtration. 13.5% ABV.
On the nose as well as in the mouth, leather, coffee, toasted nut, game and other tertiary-like aromas and flavours dominate, pushing the fruit (prune and fig) into the background. Little sweetness and rigid tannins make for a relatively austere experience. Not as dense as the Bébian or Jullien but just about as long. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2008, Terrasses du Larzac, Mas Jullien ($37.25, 10874861)
Organically farmed Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre and, depending on who you believe, Grenache. Vinified by parcel and aged for around 18 months in demi–muids. 13.5% ABV.
Reticent yet beautiful: dark fruit with cassis notes and hints of dried herbs, cocoa and spice, including a whiff of licorice. Closer to medium than full-bodied, to silky than velvety. The rich fruit is shaped by soft acidity and round tannins. Long, full finish. Vigorous aeration reveals hidden layers and depth: this wine, an epitome of the Languedoc, needs another three or four years to come into its own and will drink beautifully for several years beyond that. (Buy again? Yep.)

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Written by carswell

July 3, 2012 at 22:09

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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