Not decanted. Deep red brown. Powerful nose of cooked blackberries, treacle and tar. Very high alcohol upsets balance. Palate more spicy with dry tannins on the finish. Paired with a spicy “Tunisian” pizza and went well. A wine for strong food. Very good (86-89) for a relatively inexpensive wine, would be more highly rated if it were not for the excessive alcohol.
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(Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues) A darkly coloured wine with an opaque, deep, matt hue, with some very fine and cloudy sediment apparent. The nose has a slightly high-toned character, meaty beef stock, with gently baked fruit and dried leather. It all suggests, rather like the 1998, that this is big, hot, ripely-styled wine, and indeed a glance at the label reveals that this carries 15% alcohol. Lots of creamy substance and texture on the palate, built up on top of some ripe but firm, powerhouse tannins. But there is an unusual undercurrent too, with notes of dried-out toffee, axle grease, pistachio and brazil nuts, and a bitter edge to it all. Some of these elements may well reflect a trace of oxidation, nevertheless the style of the wine shines through sufficiently clear for me to judge. I find this cuvée too far over-the-top for me, but I have allowed myself a score range as perhaps this is not a 100%-representative bottle.
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