Domaine Maby, Prima Donna, AOC/AOP Tavel, Southern Rhone, France, 2012
Tavel is a rose-only appellation, lying on the right bank of the Rhone opposite Chateauneuf-du-Papes, and to the south and west of the adjoining Lirac appellation, also on the right bank. The main varieties are grenache noir and cinsault, then mourvedre and cinsault, carignan and white varieties. The climate is Mediterranean, sunny and hot in summer with little rainfall, and a prevailing cool northerly Mistral wind. Soils are limestone based with clay and alluvial content, depending on altitude relative to the river. The wines are mostly drunk young, but the best can improve over several years.
This wine – a blend of cinsault and grenache noir, planted on a limestone plateau with galets. Nomacorc closure, 14.5% abv, BBR, about £16
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity salmon, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas of red cherry, a little rich ripe strawberry, hints of raspberry and kirsch, and a little floral peony.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium acidity, a low-key gummy grip, high alcohol, a full body, medium intensity with an almost oily texture, with flavours of ripe strawberry, red cherry, red plum, raspberry and red flowers. A medium (+) length with a fresh clean red-fruited lightly gummy finish.
Quality: a good quality wine, with acidity just balancing the slightly over the top alcohol, though still harmonious with the good level of flavour intensity. There is some grip from the saignee method involving maceration on the skins, also giving good colour. There is a little complexity showing, with plenty of fresh red fruit flavours on the good length and fruity finish.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine has neither the intensity of flavour nor structure to benefit from further ageing – it will turn orange and lose fruit. However, it could hold for 2-3 years.