Domaine Thunevin-Calvet, Cuvee Constance, AOC Cotes du Roussillon, Maury, Pyrénées-Orientales, (whilst retaining its historical name, Pyrénées-Orientales, along with Languedoc, Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees, has since 2016, been subsumed into the administrative region of Occitanie), France, 2008
This wine: a half and half blend of grenache and carignan, vinification is ‘traditional’, then aged for 14 months in concrete vat, natural cork closure, 15% abv, Gauntleys bin end, £11 (03/17)
Consumer tasting note: a big wine in terms of rich flavours, body and alcohol, well-balanced with fresh acidity; a strong nose of ripe red plum, black cherry, liquorice and raisin; full-bodied, velvety, with a palate of ripe red cherry and plum, black cherry, liquorice and hints of prune. Finishes medium-long. Decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears and small bubbles, and a level teaspoon of solid deposit.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of waxy very ripe red plum, creamy in a lactic sense ripe black cherry, black liquorice, toasty hints, spicy, cinnamon, warm leaf humus, hints of raisin, spicy red cherry jam.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety texture with sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of very ripe red cherry, red plum, ripe black cherry, black liquorice, raisin, hints of prune. A medium (+) length with a clean black cherry edged with hints of prune finish.
Quality: very good, fresh acidity and ripe tannins a foil to the high alcohol, which does not intrude, and is quite well-integrated; showing small bubbles suggesting a low-sulphur philosophy with the winemaker leaving post-fermentation residual, or adding a little pre-bottling CO2, to give some early bottle protection against oxidation; good intensity throughout, slightly lesser concentration; showing some complexity with signs of tertiary development, with notes of leaf humus and raisins. Follows into a medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, and despite the less than optimum length and not ideal concentration, the intensity is there, and it seems, with this big wine, that there is potential for development in the tertiary dimension, over say 2-4 years.