50% Syrah, 35% Carignan, and 15% Mourvèdre; 14% ABV
Appellation Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape Protégée, France
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 25 Feb
After happily going through a number of bottles of the Bertrand 2008 Tautavel, especially over the holidays, I eagerly grabbed this bottle. It’s different, but also pretty good.
This wine is not as rich as the 2008 Tautavel, but it is perhaps more complex, and definitely more French in style. It was tasty from first pour, but a bit restrained at first. It opened up nicely after about 75 minutes in a decanter, giving ripe, tangy flavors of purple / red plum, black cherry, black and red raspberries, perhaps a little violets / roses, and, throughout, the French sort of gamey, earthy funk that I love. Overall, I didn’t like this as well as I did the Tautavel (this wine is a dollar less), but it’s a nice wine for casual drinking, especially if you are also fond of distinctively French wine.
The next day, the second half (stored in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with very little air) was a little redder and more acid than the first half, but still quite tasty, especially with food. However, I preferred it on the first night.