Dom Combe Blanche Dessous de l'Enfer 2014 Côtes du Brian

(Code: COMB/DESS/14)
£ 15.50
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Dom Combe Blanche Dessous de l'Enfer 2014 Côtes du Brian
Region La Liviniere, north-east of Carcassonne
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full bodied, aged 18 months in old oak 
Grapes 100% Tempranillo
Alcohol (a.b.v)
Food Duck, game, char-grilled red meats, wild mushrooms
Next day 
Even better
Drink Now, or to 2025 and beyond
Tempranillo has always been (indeed, still is) rather rare in Languedoc, which is surprising, as it can make lovely wines there. Guy Vanlancker planted his in the early 1990's, high up in the hills above La Livinière, where the winters can be fiercely cold and the summers fiercely hot, hence the name Les Dessous de l'Enfer - roughly translated as "under hell"(!) This wine is made only in certain vintages (in other years, a "standard" Tempranillo is made) and this is the first since 2010. It has an expressive nose of black cherry, raspberry and bramble, with subtle hints of oak vanillin, mocha and dark chocolate, with subtle notes of charred red capsicum, damp earth, tobacco and spice. All of which adds up to a pretty complex and alluring wine. The palate is full-bodied, quite rich and powerful and crammed full of tangy black cherry and bramble fruit flavours, a firm tannic structure and the merest hint of oak, with hints of spice and garrigue herbs, with ample acidity, making for a delightfully sweet-sour and considerably complex wine. It is good to drink now (preferably with food) but will also age and evolve for a further 10 years or more.