Domaine Haut Marin, En Bretagne d’Armagnac, Moelleux Gros manseng, VdP (IGP) Cotes de Gascogne, Gers, France, 2008.
Varietal gros manseng, synthetic cork closure, 37.5cl, 11.5% abv, Delilahs, £8
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears
Nose: clean on the nose, of pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas of preserved lemon, stewed stone fruit, light honey, bitter marmalade, a hint of dried pineapple, almond and hazelnut.
Palate: a medium dry wine, with high acidity, a very low-key grip from ageing in oak and/or extended maceration on the skins, medium (-) alcohol, medium (-) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of stewed over-ripe stone fruit, prunes, dried stone and tropical fruits – mango and papaya, rich yellow California raisins (those really big ones), light honey, and crushed hazelnuts. A long length with a clean fresh finish with a very low-key grip.
Quality: a very good quality wine, well evolved with a range of interesting tertiary notes, with Madeira sercial and nutty oxidised sherry and flor-like nuances, given also the hue, a period of maturation in barrel is likely, and time in bottle. Fresh acidity perfectly matches the residual sugar and intensity of rich flavours, which follows through to give an absolutely clean palate on the finish. A good concentration of flavour, and quite complex, which shows on the long length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine, whilst fully developed, will hold for a further 5-10 years, but not improve.