La Rouviole, Cuvee Le Revenant, [Languedoc (now Occitanie)], Vin de France, 2015
On Vin de France
In 2009 the EU introduced a regulatory framework for wine. Subsequently, by 2012, for France, this meant a change from AOC to AOP (though AOC can be and is still used), from Vin de Pays to IGP, and from Table Wine to Vin de France. Vin de France does not have the strict regulation of AOP or lesser IGP, this allows vignerons to create new wines, with the same ease as new world producers, and so to better compete with them.
The Vin de France category has the overriding requirement that the wine must be produced (grapes grown, vinification, and ageing) in France. Otherwise, any varieties in any combination from any part of France may be used. Grape variety(ies) and vintage can be on the label, but vintage is omitted if the wine is pan-vintage ie NV.
This wine: lot No. L170310 (below front label), organic, varietal carignan, tank aged for an unspecified period, coated natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Adrian Mould, €14.80 (07/19)
Consumer tasting note: Rouviole’s Revenant is 100% old vine carignan, wearing its 14.5% alcohol with ease. The nose is not shy, delivering strong and complex aromas, of spicy black currant juice, a sympathetic touch of volatile acidity, dark chocolate, dried herbs, old tar and more; fresh, smooth tannins, and a medium-full body, with more black currant and black cherry, finishing savoury and herby on the long finish.
Drink now – RTD, and will improve over 2-3 years – Wait. No need to decant, but slowly savour each glass, with food, to allow the full complexity to unfurl – it takes about an hour, so decant if in a hurry.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears [no sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of spice, touch of VA with creamy lactic edge, blackcurrant juice, waxy, old tar, black cherry, dried herbs, touch of macerated red cherry, hint of dark chocolate, savoury, distant hints of cedar and toast, smoky hints.
Palate: dry, high acidity, smooth ripe medium tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety texture, with flavours of black currant, black cherry, savoury, a touch of cedar. A long length, with a clean finish of black currant trailing into a savoury-herby ending.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced high acidity and ripe moderate tannins with the alcohol, which though on the high side, is well integrated and does not dominate; a sound intensity throughout, slightly stronger in mid-palate, with a similar concentration, showing a better than moderate towards high complexity, with primary fruit and evidence of sensitive exposure to lightly toasted/or a small percentage of new oak (cedar, spice, toast), and a few years in bottle (cedar, chocolate, savoury, tar, wax). Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing – perfectly balanced with a sound acid-tannin back bone, with any youthful tannic excess already resolved, lots of intensity, concentration, developing complexity, and a sound long length. This should improve over say 2-3 years, with a broadening and deepening of the current profile, to perhaps include more chocolate, liquorice and dried fruits.