made from Syrah and Carignan; 13.5% ABV
Appellation Minervois Protégée, southern France
$6 at the Oakland, CA, store on 31 March
After the Bertrand 2008 Tautavel and 2010 Pic Saint Loup, I eagerly grabbed a bottle of this wine. Although it was not bad from first pour, I thought it needed about two hours of air in a decanter to come around to open up to its full complexity, showing red berries and a slightly funky complexity of earth / coriander seed. An hour after that, it had darkened a bit to include ripe mulberry / blueberry, with a distinctive sappy bay leaf / black olive / oak, and a good amount of balancing acid. Although I found these flavors unusual in my experience, I rather liked it. If you prefer straightforwardly fruity wines, this may not be up your alley.
The second half, stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air, elegantly integrated the flavors of the first night into a very pleasant wine. The previously slightly weird, funky aspects were subdued into interesting background complexities. The fruit is ripe and soft, but still with a good amount of zingy balancing acid. Seedboy has reported a couple of corked bottles, but otherwise people seem to have liked it. If there’s any more around, it’s probably a good wine to stock up on, even after the sale.