Domaine de Travallon, Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhone, Bouches du Rhone, France, 2008 (there are also tasting notes here for 2009, 2006, 2003 and 1995)
This wine: A 50: 50 blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah. No destemming, no added yeast, no added sulphur, aged for 20 months in oak foudre, no filtration before bottling. Natural long (55 mm) cork closure, 13% abv, Leon Stolarski Fine Wines, £39 (08/15)
Consumer tasting note: fully developed but will keep for up to 5 years, a strong nose of ripe, spicy, stewed and dried red and black berries, with floral, toasty, cedary and spicy notes, a bit smoky with tobacco and liquorice; full-bodied, ripe moderate tannins, smooth, ripe black berries lifted with floral peony, with cedar, toast and dried currants. A long, long length. Decant for an hour, but start nosing right away.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity garnet, showing tears, and negligible sediment.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of hints of raw steak edged with roast meat, cedary, toasty, violets and tea rose, spicy red plum, ripe raspberry, stewed red and black berries, sweet oak, cinnamon, black berry, smoke, black currant, dried currants, warm leaf humus, tobacco, edge of black liquorice.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, full body, pronounced intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate (aka sucrosity), with flavours of peony, cedar, black berry, black cherry, touches of toast and sweet oak, dried currants. A long length, with a clean light to moderately grippy finish with black currant on the end.
Quality: outstanding, perfectly balanced acidity and tannins with alcohol, harmonious with strong flavour intensity and concentration, highly complex with evidence of time in wood and bottle with a significant tertiary dimension, following into a predicted long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for say 3-5 years.