Domaine de Cantaussel, Pic Saint Martin, AOC Minervois la Liviniere, Hérault, Languedoc (whilst retaining its historical name, Languedoc, along with Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees, has since 2016, been subsumed into the administrative region of Occitanie), France, 2014
This wine: lot No. L17073 (on back label), a syrah dominated blend of appelation varieties, barrique-aged over 18 months, coated natural cork closure, 15% abv, Maison des Vins du Minervois, Homps, €16.80 (04/19)
Consumer tasting note: a brooding darkly hued syrah dominated blend from Minervois La Liviniere, with high alcohol and a rich aromatic profile underpinned by sensitive use of new oak. On the nose vanilla and spice, black cherry and stewed red cherry, a touch of black pepper; full bodied, with black fruit flavours of cherry, black currant juice and squashed black berry, with edges of vanilla and a suggestion of black liquorice. Finishes medium-long.
Drink now – RTD, and will keep for 2-4 years – Wait. No need to decant.
WSET style tasting note:
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [no sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of a whiff of meatiness, spicy – cumin, touch of vanilla, black cherry jam, aged steak fat, beeswax, lightly savoury, stewed red cherry, earthy, an indistinct floral whiff, a hint of black pepper.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety texture, with flavours of stewed black cherry, black currant juice, squashed black berry, touches of spice and vanilla, and just a suggestion of black liquorice. A medium-long length with a clean finish of black fruits with an edge of vanilla.
Quality: good, nicely balanced fresh(ish) acidity and ripe moderate tannins with the rather high alcohol, so a food wine; a decent intensity throughout, with similar concentration; showing moderate complexity, with evidence of judicious use of some percentage of new oak (spice, vanilla) and time in bottle (earthy, beeswax), from a hot climate, witnessed by the high alcohol, and notes of stewed berries and jam. Finishes medium-long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further aging, but will keep for say 2-4 years – heading for fully developed, with a pleasing balance of primary fruit and oak influence, with some tertiary development.