bernard magrezSituated on the east side of the Pyrenees in southern France, this region is best known for their sweet wines. Côtes du Roussillon is a minimally selective appellation for their table wines.  These are blends of Rhone varietals. This one is made from Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan produced by the Bordeaux wine impresario Bernard Magrez, and lives up to the region’s reputation for rustic reds.

At seven years past its vintage date, the nose is showing some glorious complexity. Plum and fig, roasted coffee beans,  and a hint of emerging caramel are dominant. There is a bit of oxidation, a nut aroma, developing as well and you get hints of tarragon with aeration. In the mouth it’s broad shouldered with lots of fruit power and very firm tannins. The tannins are integrated and the wine is balanced but the mouthfeel is hard and unyielding, a linear evolution without much finesse. The midpalate brightens briefly with herbal notes but there some bitterness on the medium length finish.

A stoic, unperturbable personality, stolid and unsmiling except for the age-induced aromatic generosity. The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Can’t Stop seemed to add textural depth to this wine.

Technical Notes: Aged in 50% one-year old barrels and 50% stainless steel tanks, 15-25 days maceration

Score: 90

Price: $23

Alc: 14%