This opaque ruby wine, tasted double-blind from a bottle provided by C.S., is an ambitious undertaking. The Cuvée Alienor is from a special selection of old vines at the Valrose estate. The 2005 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc. It is a mouth-filling, full-bodied wine, with intense aromas and flavors of bramble fruits, cassis, dark chocolate and loamy earth. With low-to-medium acidity, big sweet tannins and well-integrated alcohol (listed as 14%), it is layered and persistent in the middle, subsequently closing with medium length. While it will likely get better, this wine is quite drinkable now and it is not unreasonable to pop a cork. Give it ample aeration. Drink now-2030.
Upon opening little happening on the palate, some raisin notes, very tannic. Tasted aggressively over 3 hours of decanting. Was not impressed until after 3 hours when the wine finally opened up, becoming fuller and softer, with multiple secondary and tertiary notes on the palate (quite a transformation). Excellent value but needs several more years of cellaring or patient, extensive decanting if drunk sooner.
Decanted 3 hours. This wine is in a happy place right now. Nicely balance with some youthful red fruit combine with light flavors of pencil lead, licorice and black pepper. Has a pleasant short plus finish. Recommend drinking this wine from now through the next 5 years.
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