Exception, Vignerons du Vallon (a co-op with about 60 members and 2/3 of total production), AOC Marcillac, Aveyron, France, 2010
The chief town of the Aveyron is Rodez close south-east of the Marcillac AOC area. The soils are red sandstone based, the vineyards are terraced and can be quite steep.
The grape varieties in this department are fer servadou which dominates plantings, with less than 5% in total of c.franc, c.sauvignon and merlot. The wines are mainly drunk young, within 3 years, but the best may age to 6 years.
Fer sevadou, or fer, but known locally as mansois, prefers a poor stony soil, and ripens neither early nor late. Destemming is recommended, with vinification commonly in stainless steel, for 2 – 3 weeks, then MLF, followed by ageing in old oak for up to 18 months. Gives a wine of deep intensity, with black and red berries on the palate, and smooth tannins – so a good example is evaluated here.
Varietal fer servadou, oak aged in 1/3 new French oak for 12 months, coated cork closure, 12.5% abv, en France about €10.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, of deep intensity purple, and showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of pronounced intensity, youthful, with aromas of black cherry and sweet ripe blackberry, vanilla with a marked oaky undertone, and spicy redcurrant with a hint of sulphur-like struck match.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, medium fine-grained tannins, medium alcohol and a medium body, with a medium intensity, with dominant flavours of black cherry and ripe blackberry, with a hint of black currant, all underpinned by an vanilla-oaky note.
Quality: a good quality wine, with balanced fresh acidity and alcohol, the level of which are harmonious with the intensity of flavour. A modest wine, with modest fruit concentration, youthful purple with dominant fresh berry aromas and oak elevage flavours. This wine has balance, fruit, tannin and acidity to evolve and improve with cellaring over 3-5 years.
Strang, Paul. (2009). South-west France, the Wines and Winemakers. University of California Press.