Chateau L’Argentier, Carignan, Vielles Vignes, IGP Pays du Gard, Sommieres, Gard, Occitanie, France, 2014
This wine: lot No. L16286 (on the neck), varietal carignan, old vine (80 y.o), fermented in concrete vat, then aged for 18 months in concrete vat, coated natural cork closure, 13% abv, ex-producer, €13.60 (02/18)
Consumer tasting note: pale ruby, and though un-oaked, shows whiffs of vanilla, spice and toast underpinning red berries and cherry, a touch of blackberry, floral rose, and black liquorice; medium-full bodied, with fresh acidity and flavours of red cherry, strawberry and raspberry, a touch savoury, then black liquorice. Finishes medium-long. Decant for an hour or so.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears [a very small quantity of tartrate crystals].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of slightly high-toned red currant, raspberry, cranberry juice, a whiff of sweet vanilla, a hint of toastiness, black berry, floral whiff of rose, sweet ripe red cherry, beeswax, a touch savoury, black liquorice.
Palate: dry, high acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium intensity, with flavours of ripe red cherry, defrosted strawberry, squashed ripe raspberry, a little savoury, hint if blackcurrant, touch of black cherry, black liquorice. A medium (+) length with a clean red currant jelly-black berry edged finish, with a slight savouriness.
Quality: very good, well-balanced fresh acidity and ripe moderate tannins with alcohol, harmonious overall; showing evidence of time in well-integrated wood – toast and spice, and bottle – savoury and beeswax, with better than moderate complexity on a middling intensity and similar concentration; finishes medium-long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-3 years – a sound structure and balance, with some tertiary evolution balanced by primary fruit and secondary spice, but intensity, concentration and length are somewhat lacking.