Cotes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, southern France
50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Carignan; 14% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 18 Feb
For this wine I had sort of a breakdown in my usual careful observations. I decanted this bottle, poured half into a 375ml bottle and stoppered it (so far, so good), and then left the decanted half alone for a day (don’t ask). But here goes:
The half that had been sitting in the open decanter for a day was okay. It had become rather rough and a little acid, but it was still tasty enough, with flavors of medium purple plum and darker red cherry.
The half saved in the stoppered half bottle was much more delicious. It was tasty right away, with flavors similar to the exposed-for-a-day half, but redder, more smooth and elegant. Over a couple hours, it became darker and more forward, showing darker plum, ripe boysenberry, and darker spice / earth, with acid of hibiscus tea. It was still never the smoothest or most elegant, but it was quite full and hearty. Most interesting to me, the wine and especially the fruit had a hard and solid character that I don’t recall previously meeting in a wine based on Grenache and Syrah. In that way, it’s perhaps like a young full-bodied Bordeaux. If you’re just opening a bottle, you’ll probably want to decant it for a couple hours before drinking, and it may well be better the next day. I expect it will age reasonably well for at least a few more years, although I’m not sure what it will become.
Disclosure: This bottle was an unsolicited gift from Juan at the Berkeley store.