Domaine Pierre Fil, Dolium, AOP Minervois, Aude, Occitanie, France, 2015
On AOP Minervois
The Minervois lies inland from a line drawn roughly between Narbonne in the east and Carcassonne in the west. The appellation of Cabardes is to the west, Corbieres to the south and St Chinian to the northeast, and is set on rising land in the foothills of the Montagne Noir. The appellation spans the departments of the Aude and Herault and possesses one of the topmost quality level Crus du Languedoc – La Liviniere. The latter calls for blend minima of 40% syrah and mourvedre, and 60% syrah, mourvedre and grenache noir; carignan and cinsault are also permitted, but limited to a maximum 40% . Of course, IGP is less restrictive, and Vin de France allows for limitless creativity.
It is a predominantly red appellation, though white (from bourboulenc, grenache blanc, roussanne, marsanne, muscat, and rolle aka vermentino), and pink, commonly using cinsault, are produced .
Soils are complex, but limestone is a dominant feature, along with shale, schist and clay. The climate is less Mediterranean than its southerly neighbours, being cooler from higher altitude, and from cooling breezes off the Montagne Noir .
This wine: bottle No. 06914 (of 8000), a blend of mourvedre, grenache and carignan noir; vinified in, and then aged in French oak for 18 months, coated natural cork closure, 15% abv, Adrian Mould, €15.80 (02/18)
Consumer tasting note: deeply ruby hued, with rich ripe aromas of black fruits, with a red edge of stewed red cherry, strawberry and red currant, a touch herbal, very lightly toasty and spicy, along with red and then black liquorice; full-bodied and smooth in the mouth, with a moderate ripe tannic grip which will round a touch more with a bit more age, but is eminently drinkable now, with flavours of ripe red cherry, black berry and jammy black cherry and spicy red cherry, with the merest hint of underpinning oak. Would suit a spicy beef/game casserole. Decant for an hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep (just) intensity ruby, showing tears [no sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of black cherry, black berry, edge of bees-wax, hint of well-integrated toasty oak, black plum juice, a touch savoury and spicy, ripe sweet-seeming red plum, hint of blackcurrant, stewed red fruits – cherry, red currant and strawberry, hint of dried herbs with a pine-like nuance, red liquorice, a touch of tar, hint of waxy decaying leaves, black liquorice, a whiff of cinnamon.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of ripe red cherry, red plum, blackberry, black cherry jam, herbal hints, spicy red cherry jam, red boiled sweets, merest hint of oak, dried vanilla pod. A medium (+) length, with a clean wax-edged red and black cherry jam finish, with a pleasant residual grip.
Quality: very good, a good balance, but better still to come with a little time, as the tannins round out a touch more; a sound intensity with similar concentration; alcohol is high, a little warming, but not overly so; showing a moderate-high level of complexity, with a profile just turning into tertiary territory, from time in wood and bottle, with notes of spice and toast, and savoury, dried herbs and cooked fruit, respectively. Finishes sound medium-long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing to improve over say 3-5 years – a sound structure, lots of fruit, developing complexity with a tertiary dimension, and ripe tannins, which will support that development and round out a touch more at the same time.
- George, R. (2001). The Wines of the South of France, from Banyuls to Bellet. faber and faber.
- Easton, S. (2013). Minervois versus Corbieres. [online] accessed 13/04/18.