Domaine de La Garance Les Armieres 2015 Languedoc

(Code: GARAN/ARMI/15)
£ 22.99
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Domaine de La Garance Les Armieres 2015 Languedoc
Region Caux, a few km north-west of Pézenas
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, partly aged in barrel
Grapes 90% Carignan and 10% Syrah (65 year old vines)
Alcohol (a.b.v)
Food Roasted red meats, game, cheeses.
Next day 
Even better on day 2
Drink 2018-2030
Old vine Carignan and Syrah, with yields of just 18 hectolitres per hectare. A long maceration (3 months) is followed by 27 months ageing (90% in concrete vats and 10% in oak barrels). When we first tasted this wine in June 2017, it felt quite light and primary - which threw me a little, because this cuvée is traditionally quite hefty and robust. 6 months later (December 2017) it has gained weight fast, with red fruits turning to black, and myriad secondary aromas and flavours coming to the fore. Leather, spice, forest floor and brioche aromas greet the nose, whilst ripe bramble, black cherry, spice and a distinct garrigue herbiness coat the palate. As, at the moment, do the robust but perfectly ripe tannins - a good sign for a wine that will continue to age and evolve. And there's more than enough fruit concentration (not to mention bucket-loads of juicy acidity) to outlast those tannins over the next 10 years or more, whilst this wine evolves into something much more than the sum of its parts - just like every vintage that preceded it. A lesson learned about judging young wines - especially old-vine Carignan - too early. It is utterly delicious!

Update (September 2019) - This wine continues to evolve beautifully, with an intoxicating combination of old leather, red meat, incense, curry spice, lapsang tea and myriad red berry fruit aromas. The palate offers a wonderfully complex and truly elegant combination of sweet-sour red fruit flavours (notably redcurrant, cherry and raspberry) with subtle hints of bramble, orange, garrigue herbs and soft spices, all of which is wrapped around a core of uber-fine tannins and truly mouth-watering acidity. A fascinating insight into the evolution into what will undoubtedly be a long-lived and classic Languedoc Carignan - and a bit of a bargain at the price.