Philippe Gimel, L’Argile, Saint Jean de Barroux, AOC Ventoux, Vaucluse, PACA, France, 2010
This appellation is in the Vaucluse department, in the Provence-Alpes-Cotes d’Azur (PACA) region. Until 2009 it was known as AOC Cotes de Ventoux, thereafter plain AOC Ventoux.
This wine: a blend of grenache, syrah, carignan and cinsault, unoaked. Diam 10 agglomerate cork closure, 15% abv, Gauntleys, £21.10 (2016)
Consumer tasting note: a nose of lifted and slightly toasty (despite being unoaked) red fruits, with violets and liquorice; medium-full bodied, fresh acidity, ripe tannins and showing less apparent alcohol than the stated 15%, on a palate of kirsch, stewed red plums, red berries and a hint of hazelnut. A medium-long length. Decant for an hour+.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears, no sediment.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of delicately toasty slightly lifted dried berries – red cherry and cranberry, a big whiff of sweet violets, black liquorice, stewed red plums, undertone of leaf humus.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) ripe tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety texture, with flavours of kirsch, stewed red plums, red cherry jam, cranberry, peony, a nutty hint – hazelnut-like. A medium (+) length with a clean stewed red cherry and red plum finish.
Quality: very good, the high alcohol does not dominate and is well-balanced with acidity plus tannins, and the flavour intensity and concentration integrate with this powerful structure with ease. Showing some complexity, with a distinct floral note, a toasty edge, and tertiary stewed fruits, especially red plum, which stands out. A medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential of further ageing over say 2-4 years – a sound structure, decent length, quite developed, with room to deepen the dried and stewed berry notes with a more savoury dimension, perhaps.