Domaine l’Aigueliere, La Cote Doree, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc-Montpeyroux, Hérault, Occitanie, France, 2000
This wine: lot No. L1/338 (below capsule), a syrah dominated blend with grenache noir, vinified in stainless steel, aged in unspecified age barrique for up to a year, coated natural cork closure, 13% abv, ex-producer (not bought by me), €? (~2002)
Consumer tasting note: difficult not to be enthusiastic about this wine – deep garnet, with a rich highly complex profile from almost two decades in bottle. The nose just keeps coming, from stewed and confit black and red berries and fruits, to dried vanilla pod, violets, old leather, tobacco, and, a hint of cooked green pepper; medium bodied with fresh(ish) balancing acidity and fine tannins, with a sweet seeming mid-palate, somewhat mirroring the nose. Finishes resoundingly long.
Drink now – RTD, and will keep for 2-3 years – Wait. Double decant off the sediment, and rest for 30 minutes plus.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity garnet, showing tears [a level teaspoon of soft sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of cold stewed blackberry, warm cedar, old leather, violets, candle wax, dried vanilla pod, black olive, an edge of ripe black cherry, red currant jelly, a delicate note of warm dried currants, a hint of black pepper, spicy dark red plum jam, a touch smoky, old polished wood, a faint whiff of black liquorice, a lifted touch of fragrant cooked green pepper, hints of rich tobacco.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe fine grained medium (+) tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of stewed black berry, hint of cedar, a touch savoury, black olive, dried black cherry, touches of candle wax and cedar, hint of blackcurrant jam, indistinct stewed red berries. A long (>40s) length, with a clean delicate finish of stewed mostly red, edged with black berries, with black olive on the end.
Quality: outstanding, well balanced fresh(ish) acidity and fine grained ripe tannins with alcohol, altogether harmonious; quite strong intensity throughout with a similar concentration; showing a high level of tertiary complexity, with evidence of fruit development (cooked fruit), time in wood (cedar, spice, vanilla pod), and in bottle (cedar, leather, old polished wood, savoury, tobacco, wax); finishes resoundingly long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for say 2-3 years – a sound acid-tannin structure and balance, truly fully developed, with a strong tertiary element, with sympathetic contribution from exposure to oak and fruit development. Clearly ticks all the boxes for outstanding.