Bricking garnet red with a nose of cooked red fruit, garrigue, olives, and tertiary licorice and spice. A grower on the palate as air adds character to this hot Rhône red: cherries and raspberry pie, thyme, nutmeg, and heather. I usually hate anything over 14.5% but this is balanced and evolved enough to offset the alcohol. A nice effort!
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(Chapoutier Châteauneuf du Pape La Bernardine) This is a blend of 90% Grenache, 5% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre from a number of different vineyards. Vinified in concrete tanks over three weeks with a permissive approach to temperature. The nose certainly has plenty of young Syrah and Grenache character, very much at the orange peel end of the spectrum; a zesty overlay on top of some red fruit and cherries, them some chalk. Quite supple and sweetly textured in the upper layers, over a chalky-grippy core, but with a strange roast-meat-Bovril element to it. Texturally though it is very appealing. Could the rest of the wine come good as it evolves?
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