2018 Cotes du Rhone, Chateau de Domazan, Rhone Valley, France
Château de Domazan was built in the 14th century in the middle of Côte du Rhône vineyard, nearby Avignon.
The ground is covered with large pebbles that were rolled and rounded on the old Rhône bed. These pebbles that can weigh up to 30 kg are very beneficial to the grapes because they provide excellent conditions for ripening. They store up the heat from the sun during the day and release it slowly through the mild summer nights.
This is an excellent value Cotes du Rhone with a floral and spicy aroma. On the palate it is nicely rounded with a concentrated red berry flavour.
2018 Carignan Vieilles Vignes, La Forge Estate, Languedoc, France
Intense deep purple colour with ruby red tints. At first spices and blackberry, the second nose develops wood and cocoa aromas finishing on toasted oak notes. Full-bodied rich and mellow with velvety tannins. Complex flavours on the middle palate, liquorice flavours on the finish. Long lasting.
Jean-Claude Mas has significantly grown and enhanced Domaines Paul Mas with the acquisition of several carefully selected properties throughout the Languedoc. His portfolio of estates now accounts for over 440 acres of premium vineyards, planted with 25 different varieties, including Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier and Chardonnay. Above all else, his vineyards are maintained at the utmost quality so as to yield the highest calibre grapes.
La Forge Estate wines symbolize the fusion of the old and the new worlds of wine, as well as the fusion between carefully selected grapes from the best South of France vineyards and an expressive, round and aromatic style, brightened up by a subtle dose of oak barrel ageing.
2015 Minervois 'La Liviniere', Domaine de Tholomies, Languedoc, France
This wonderfully rich and intense red is right up there with the very best of the Languedoc. La Liviniere is one of the few vineyards in the Languedoc with 'Cru' status, and it's clear to see why with this wine. It has some vivid cherry and blackberry fruit on the palate with some immense coffee and dark chocolate notes alongside. There is some definite ageing potential, but it offers some serious drinking pleasure right now.
2016 Cru Maury Sec, Chateau des Jaume, Roussillon, France
Maury may be an appellation more famed for its sweet red wines, but this dry red is an absolute triumph. Maury's key variety is Grenache, and that makes up the bulk of the blend here, with a little Carignan added to add additional layers of flavour. On the nose there is a slightly floral note of violets alongside more fruity tones, however on the palate it is layers of dark autumnal fruit with a hint of sweeter raspberry that dominate. It is full bodied and richly textured and on the finish there a gentle spiciness that just adds to the appeal.
This is an exceptional red that should appeal to lovers of classic southern Rhone reds as well as those from Roussillon.
2020 Cotes de Roussillon Villages 'Infusion', Chateau des Jaume, Roussillon, France
No added sulfites wine.
This exceptionally well priced red from Chateau des Jaume (one of the famous estates of the Roussillon region) is a delight. It's brimming with ripe autumnal hedgerow fruit, with a hint of roasted herbs in the background. The wine is a blend of three grape varieties (Syrah, Grenache and Carignan) and is made without the addition of sulfites.
2019 Mas dels Frares Red, Vinicola del Priorat, Priorat, Spain
Deep ruby appearance. The nose shows incredible richness despite still being fairly closed. Ripe fruits like blueberries and red plums against a background of cedar and tobacco-leaf notes from the oak. Well-structured with lively acidity, grippy high quality tannins, salinity and smoothing alcohol, ending in a long finish in which oak and fruit continue in excellent balance.