About AOC Cabardes
Cabardes is an appellation for rose and red wine only. It lies to the NW of Carcassonne, with a climate held in tension between the cooling influence of the North Atlantic and the heat of the Mediterranean – citrus cannot be grown successfully in the ground in Cabardes. For example, towards the end of June 2017, there was a week with bone dry conditions with late morning into late afternoon temperatures in the high 20s C, but nighttime until mid-morning, there was a drop of 10 degrees. The following week was affected by a strong rain storm and aftermath, which dropped the temperature further throughout. So there can be good preserved acidity, ripe tannins and ripe flavours, as with this Cabrol. Blends are the order of the day, with cooler Bordeaux climate cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec (aka cot) and merlot, working with hotter climate syrah and grenache noir. Current blend regulations are not less than 40%, together or separately, of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and merlot; and not less than 40%, together or separately, of grenache noir and syrah. Soils are pebbly and stony, limestone-based, with clay and chalk.
This wine: lot No. L1617, not certified organic, but with an organic approach; plantings lie at ~250m altitude; a blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% grenache noir, 10% syrah; vinification and pre-bottling maturation are in stainless steel, by parcel and by variety, with a small proportion matured in large format 600 litre oak demi-muids, the syrah component is vinified by carbonic maceration; coated natural cork closure, 13.5% abv, Adrian Mould, €12.80 (06/17).
Last tasted: 01/07/17.
Consumer tasting note: deep ruby, with rich ripe aromas of black cherry and blackcurrant edged with blackcurrant leaf, balanced by notes of maturity of black olive and savoury, with black liquorice on the end; full-bodied, with marked but sympathetic ripe tannins, with flavours of blackcurrant and black cherry, edged with savoury black olive. Finishes long. Can decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of a hint of meatiness underlying dark berries, a passing whiff of VA, low-key supportive toast, ripe black currant edged with blackcurrant leaf and black cherry, savoury, bees-wax, a touch of sweet gunpowder (the sweet aroma from old style spent shotgun cartridges) edged with a hint of funk, squashed ripe blackberry, spicy black plum jam, black olive, black liquorice, and, after some time, the vaguest hint of farmyard.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of ripe blackcurrant, black cherry, savoury, black olive. A long length with a clean, black fruited, savoury edged finish.
Quality: very good, well balanced fresh(ish) acidity and ripe tannins with alcohol; sound intensity throughout, with slightly lesser concentration; of a little better than moderate complexity, showing a developing profile with residual primary notes of rich ripe dark berries, and evidence of well integrated oak and time in bottle, with notes of toast and spice, and meat, savoury, bees-wax and black olive. Finishes sound long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for up to 2 years – a sound structure and balance, well into development territory, with a balance of primary fruit (edged with secondary) and tertiary, which is just right now.
- George, R. (2001). The Wines of the South of France, from Banyuls to Bellet. faber and faber.