I can’t say that I prefer single varietal wines to cuvees, or vice-versa, but from time to time I appreciate listening to a grape varieties revealing their very own version of a particular terroir. Here we are talking about the 2008 vintage and a centenary Carignan vineyard, growing on a dry and stony terroir called “Les Aspres”, in the Minervois close to Carcassonne.
“In the Languedoc-Roussillon, the biggest wine growing region of France, the 2008 vintage, with its “Indian summer” is very promising,” François Boudou, director of the ICV, a regional wine institute, estimated some five years ago
With its fresh and rainy spring and its warm autumn full of sunshine, the Mediterranean wines of this vintage are considered as being “atypical” and elegant, carried by crispy acidity.
The bouquet of this Carignan is very intensive. First dominated by Hazelnut and raisins, it quickly gains complexity in the glass, showing smells of plums and gingerbread. Particularly smooth and mellow on the palate, it’s a very pleasant drink. Silky tannins underline the crispy acidity on the final, giving impressive length to the wine. It demands for typical winter dishes, for example patiently stewed meat with elegant spices like star anise, cinnamon and cloves.