Plan Pegau, VSIG, France, NV
VSIG (Vins Sans Indication Geographique), is another term for Vin de France, or previously, table wine, the vintage year is not permitted on the label.
This wine: from clayey soils. The lateral thinking label suggests a multi-vintage blend of 2011, 12 and 13, from 19ha of Domaine-owned vines outside the Chateauneuf-du-pape appellation. Source materials were 30% each of grenache and syrah, 20% merlot, together with old vine carignan, mourvedre, cinsault, danlas, alicante and cabernet sauvignon. Manual harvest, sorting, no de-stemming, indigenous yeasts in a 10 day fermentation. Matured half and half in vat and old French barrique. Cross-vintage blending just prior to unfiltered bottling, between June and October 2014, technical 1+1 cork, 14% abv, £11.70, Gauntleys (2016).
Consumer tasting note: opens with rich ripe cherries and plums on the nose, then toast, spice, liquorice and much later, a little meaty. Medium bodied but with more alcohol, suiting the flavour intensity, with added strawberry and an oaky undertone, tannins stick out slightly but will round with time, decent length and a fresh black fruit finish. Do decant for 1-2 hours.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of sweet ripe red cherry, red plum, ripe black plum, black cherry, low-key toast and sweet spice, touch of tarry liquorice, touches of green herbs, a rich florality and black olive, develops a meaty undertone after some time.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol, and a medium body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of ripe black cherry, touch of blackcurrant boiled sweets, warm liquorice, a little stewed strawberry, with an oaky undertone underpinning all. A medium (+) length with a clean black cherry – lightly black currant and liquorice finish, with a moderate grip.
Quality: a very good quality wine, tannins are a little strident, but should round out with a year or so in bottle, otherwise a good balance of acidity with flavour intensity, alcohol is sympathetic without heaviness, showing some complexity with a little tertiary tarry and cooked fruit development, decent concentration of flavour and a good length.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for ageing over say 2-3 years – has a sound structure, above average intensity and flavour concentration, and is in starting to evolve with tertiary notes showing through, but with plenty of fruit and indicative length.