Domaine Saint Sylvestre, Rouge, AOP Terrasses du Larzac, Puechabon, Hérault, Occitanie, France, 2014
This wine: lot No. L2 (on front label), organic, a blend of 70% syrah, 20% grenache noir, and 10% mourvedre, aged in unspecified barrel for 24 months; unfined and unfiltered, coated natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Leon Stolarski, £21.25 (05/20)
Consumer tasting note: from trendy Terrasse du Larzac, mainly syrah, with small amounts of grenache and mourvedre, with high but well integrated alcohol, and a bit of toasty oak. Lots of complexity of red berries, spice, liquorice, herbs, with touches of pine and black pepper; full bodied, again with red and black berries, with cedar, black olive and a hint of prune. A long length.
Drink now – can drink now, but will improve over 2-3 years – Wait. Double decant, then wait for 30-60 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears, and a few small bubbles (must be a low-sulphite wine) [no sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of herbs, hints of pine and oak, spicy red berries, red currant, raspberry, hint of sweet dessert apple, passing hint of vanilla, rich red cherry jam, red liquorice, bare hint of toast, slightly lifted stewed red cherry, black liquorice, black olive, hint of cedar, cumin, candle wax, edge of black pepper, hint of blackberry.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, fine grained medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of rich sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours dried herbs, black berry, black cherry, spicy red cherry jam, cedar, black olive, a hint of pine, hint of prune (on day 2). A long length, with a clean finish of red then black fruits, edged with cedar and black olive.
Quality: very good, well balanced fresh(ish) acidity and fine grained yet firm tannins, with the high and slightly warming alcohol, which does not dominate, and is harmonious with the fairly strong intensity throughout and similar concentration; showing high complexity, with evidence of primary fruit, fruit development (cooked fruit), exposure to well integrated probably medium toasted oak (cedar, cumin, spice, toast, vanilla), and time in bottle (black olive-earth, cedar, prune (day 2), wax). Follows into a sound long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 2-3 years – a sound structure and balance, plenty of intensity, concentration and length, and a developing complexity, with primary fruit, low-key residual oaky toast, always a sign, all things being equal, of room for further development, together with early signs of an emerging tertiary dimension, which will broaden and deepen.