Gravillas Cotes du Brian 2015

Clos du Gravillas, Lo Vielh Carignan de 100 ans, IGP Herault Cotes du Brian, Saint-Jean de Minervois, Herault, Occitanie, France, 2015

On IGP Herault
An appellation established in 1968, of which Herault Cotes du Brian is one of currently 16 named sub-appellations, for still red, white and pink wine, from a wide range of permitted varieties (1), including the traditional regional grenache, carignan, cinsault and mourvedre, plus from further afield, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and chardonnay. The yield limit is a generous 120hl/ha.

The climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters, and hot and dry summers, with rain amounting to 500-1000mm in autumn and spring. There is no problem with ripening, and the the cool northerly Tramontaine wind, and southerly marine breezes moderate climatic excesses.

Soils vary widely. In general terms they are schistous at the tops of slopes, limestone-based on high plateaus, with finer alluvial deposits mixed with stones in the plains.

This wine: lot No. L.27.03.17 (on bottle below capsule), organic, varietal centennial carignan, grown on stony calcareous soils, 12 months ageing in barrique, coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, Maison des Vins du Minervois, Homps, €18 (04/19).

Consumer tasting note: a wine from centennial, and so very low yield carignan, showing just a touch of age, with a nose dominated by fresh ripe red and black berries, but also a little spicy and peppery; full-bodied, with well integrated oak and alcohol, and simpler flavours of black berry and cherry underpinned by a contrasting note of cedar. Finishes soundly long. Drink now – RTD and will keep for 2-4 years – Wait. Decant into a jug for an hour at room temperature.

WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears (no sediment).

Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas as they come, of crushed blueberry, a spicy edge, a frill of red fruits – soft red plum and cranberry, then black berry, cedar clearly, a hint of struck match, candle wax, touch of black pepper, touch of ripe black cherry, a hint of black liquorice, fragrant black cherry jam.

Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe fine grained medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of black berry, ripe black cherry, cedar. A long length (>25s), with  a clean finish of black berries edged with cedar.

Quality: good, well balanced fresh(ish) acidity and ripe moderate tannins with alcohol, tannins being at the top end of medium; a decent intensity throughout, with slightly lesser concentration, showing better than moderate complexity on the nose, much simpler on the palate, being mainly youthful and fruity, with evidence of exposure to judiciously applied usage of oak (cedar and spice), and a little time in bottle (wax). Follows into a sound long length.

Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-4 years – a sound structure and length, and whilst showing some promise of development, intensity and concentration are somewhat lacking.


  1. INAO – IGP Pays d’Herault [online] accessed 10/05/19.

About citbp

I am interested in everything about wine, from site selection to tasting.
This entry was posted in 10to20 - still red, carignan, france languedoc (now occitanie). Bookmark the permalink.

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