Alain Pascal, Cuvée Antoinette, Domaine Gros’ Noré, AOC Bandol, Var, PACA, France, 2009
This wine: from a north-facing site, helping preserve freshness, a mourvedre dominated blend, with 5% each of cinsault and grenache, unfiltered, unfined, natural cork closure, 15% abv, Gauntleys, £48 (02/17)
Consumer tasting note: a tannic, but ripely so, wine for a beef-based dish, casseroled and bathed overnight in a full-bodied red; time in wood and bottle shows with a nose of toast-edged black cherry, liquorice, leaf humus and old polished wood; medium-full bodied, with ripe and stewed black fruits, and a touch of rich dark raisin. Follows into a long length. Decant for an hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears, and a light sediment.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of toast and spice, black liquorice, black cherry boiled sweets, glimpses of sweet oak and vanilla, stewed red cherry, warm leaf humus edged with bees-wax, old polished wood, rich dark raisin, a slightly high-toned edge of dried red berries.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, ripe high tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of sweet ripe fruit in mid-palate (aka sucrosity) with flavours of black cherry, liquorice, black berry jam, sweet oak edged with warm bees-wax, dark raisins with an underpinning of sweet oak, rich dark red cherry jam, with a certain florality on the end. A long length with a clean ripe black cherry/savoury finish, with a significant grip.
Quality: very good, unquestionably the tannins demand food, perfectly balanced acidity and tannins with the unobtrusive high alcohol, the tannins whilst strident show no sign of bitterness on the finish, good intensity and concentration, showing a decent but not outstanding level of complexity on both nose and mid-palate, with secondary oak-derivative and tertiary bottle-aged stewed and dried berry notes, following into a long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, and whilst quite well-developed, has potential for further ageing over say 2-3 years, during which a more dried fruit dimension may emerge.