Olivier Calix, Sarrat de Goundy, Mano a Mano, Vin de France (La Clape, Aude, Occitanie), France, 2017
This wine: lot No. L19025M4 (below capsule), a 50:50 blend of syrah and nielluccio (aka sangiovese), no added yeast, aged in 115 litre amphorae over 12 months, unfiltered, coated natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Caves Notre Dame, €28.60 (09/19)
Consumer tasting note: a brooding deep ruby hue, with a rich profile of dark cherry and warm liquorice; full bodied and wearing its high(ish) alcohol well, with balancing acidity, a touch porty on the palate, with additional notes of dried currant and wet prune. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD, and will hold for 2-3 years – Wait. Double decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [no sediment].
Nose: clean, medium intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of a meaty nuance with a creamy lactic edge, a hint of gun powder (that sweet smell from spent old style shotgun cartridges), creamy ripe black cherry, a touch spicy, dark plum jam, a rich floral nuance, a hint of cedar, tar edged black liquorice with a hint of pine, warm candle wax.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe fine grained medium tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth velvety texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of stewed black cherry edged with fragrant squashed black berry, a hint of dried currant, prune, a touch porty, warm black liquorice, a hint of dried herbs [hints of black currant on day 2]. A long length, with a clean finish of stewed black cherry, with a warm black liquorice ending.
Quality: very good, well balanced fresh acidity and ripe moderate tannins with alcohol, altogether harmonious; the high alcohol is well integrated, suiting the sound intensity and stronger concentration of rich flavours, definitely a food wine; showing a better than moderate developing complexity, with evidence of time in bottle (cedar, dried currant, meaty, prune, wax). Finishes long, with a slight bitterness on the end.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for say 2-3 years – a sound acid-tannin structure, well balanced, with a sound intensity, rich concentration and developing complexity, that shows a pleasing balance of primary fruit and tertiary evolution – RTD now, a food wine.