A charming, full-throttle wine from Minervois, although because of varietal requirements the wine can only carry a “table wine” designation. The product of a 50-50 partnership between two eminent Burgundian producers – Anne Gros and Jean-Paul Tollot. Both produce infinitesimally small amounts of Cote d’Or Burgundy from some of the most sought-after plots of soil, which are testaments to their skill as winemakers. In choosing to go south into the Languedoc, the pair bring their Burgundian skills to bear on a fabulous site of old vines in Minervois – 35 year old Carignan, 60 year old Cinsault, 22 year old Grenache, and some younger Syrah, each go into the cepage of this wine.
As previously noted, although the grapes all come from old vines in Minervois, the wine is only entitled to a “Vin de Table” designation because the Minervois AOC requires at least 40% Carignan. However, Anne prefers a balance of more or less equal amounts of Carignan, Cinsault and Grenache with some Syrah rounding out the blend. Like Marilisa Allegrini in Valpolicella choosing to delimit their Palazzo della Torre from Valpolicella Classico to IGT Verona many years ago, Anne prefers delimiting to IGP Pays de Herault, rather than make an inferior blend tied to AOC Minervois. This kind of bold decision-making in the face of global marketing pressure is why the wines of Anne Gros are so fabulous.
The wine itself is terrific, with an explosive nose filled with fresh cherry, black berry and rose petal notes. Stainless-steel fermentation preserves the freshness and purity of the fruit, which sings boldly on the palate. Dense and juicy with great acidic balance, the wine is clearly at home with food. And yet, the subliminal complexity of exotic spices, wet stone and fresh herbs offer contemplative rewards. Drinking exceptionally well now, the wine should mature nicely over the next 2 to 3 years, but this is not a wine for aging.
In the greater-Boston area the wine is represented by Arborway Imports and was available in limited quantities at Berman’s in Lexington, MA. Regular, pre-discount pricing is $24.99/per bottle… the wine was on sale at $15.99/per bottle in case quantities… If there is interest, I strongly urge acting FAST.