Henri Bonneau, Les Rouliers, Vin de France, [Vaucluse, PACA], NV, France
This wine: lot No. LOTR0118 (on the front label), the postcode, 84230 on the label, is for Chateauneuf-du-Pape; a multi-vintage blend usually from 2 years, hence Vin de France, possibly including some declassified Chateauneuf-du-Pape, of grenache noir (from the Gard department), with small amounts of mourvedre, counoise and vaccarèse; fermented in cement tank, then typically aged 3-4 years in a variety of oak formats, bottled unfiltered, RTD on release, 15% abv, BBR, £51 (12/18)
Consumer tasting note: grenache noir dominates this southern Rhone artisanal Vin de Franc blend, lightening the ruby hue. Highly complex with aromas of red and black fruits and berries, spice, black liquorice, kirsch, prune and tobacco; medium-full bodied, the high alcohol is carried well and the wine well balanced, with a palate dominated by red fruits – cherry jam, cranberry juice and currant jelly, along with spicy kirsch, oak, leather and almond. Finishes soundly long.
Drink now – RTD, and will improve over say 3-5 years and keep much longer – Wait. No need to decant.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears [a misting of very fine sediment].
Nose: clean, developing, pronounced intensity, with aromas as they come, of blackcurrant, warm toast, spicy, stewed black plum, red plum jam, squashed ripe black berry, a rich yet indistinct floral note – tea rose emerges after some time, waxy, the slightest suggestion of almond, cumin, warm leaf humus, glace cherry, black liquorice, old polished wood, a hint of nail varnish, kirsch, touch of prune, dried herbs, tobacco.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of red cherry jam, kirsch, black berry, cranberry juice, red currant jelly, touches of oak, leather and almond. A long length with a clean finish of red and black berries, edged with kirsch and a touch of oak ,on a moderate grip.
Quality: outstanding, well balanced fresh acidity and firm ripe tannins with the high alcohol, which is well carried, the acidity perhaps accentuating the tannins a little; a quite strong intensity throughout, with slightly lesser concentration, of high complexity with a sensory profile of red and black primary fruit, secondary oak, spice and toast, and an emerging tertiary edge including leather, leaf humus and tobacco. Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing over say 3-5 years, and keep the same again – a sound structure and balance, lots of stuffing, the firm tannins may round a touch more with time, as the sensory profile broadens and deepens to a more tertiary character.