Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roches Noires Saint-Chinian Roquebrun 2006

An interesting wine from Tesco tonight:  A Decanter gold medal winner from Languedoc-Roussillon made from Rhone grape varieties by the carbonic maceration method.

Carbonic maceration is a wine making technique that involves fermenting whole bunches of grapes in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment without the help of yeast.  This is accomplished by pumping carbon dioxide into a fermentation vessel (along with the grapes), where a natural intracellular fermentation process then takes place within the grape, producing ethanol as well as the distinctive phenolic aromas and flavours, vibrant colours, and low tannins associated with the technique.  The process is commonly used in the production of Beaujolais nouveau.

The grapes for this wine were hand-picked and the wine is unfiltered.  It's made from 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre.

The wine is a dark purple colour and has a slightly complex, fruity nose.  The flavours are equally fruity and complex, but lacking any sort of tannic bite, which makes me think it's missing something, but I think that's the intention - the fruity softness of the wine is part of its character. It's a bit of an oddity, but in a good way and it's reasonably priced.  It's also one of the better wines I've had recently that's made from these grape varieties, at this sort of price point.

Roches Noires Saint-Chinian 2006
AC Saint Chinian, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

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