2011 Mas de Lavail Terre d'Ardoise Carignan Vieilles Vignes, Languedoc-Roussillon (750ml)

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Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Grape Varietal: Carignan
Review Score: 89WA
Alcohol By Volume: 14.0%

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Other than its obvious difference in color and the different vintage and text on its back label, the red Mas Lavail 2011 Carignan Vieilles Vignes Terre d’Ardoise is indistinguishable from its white counterpart, because the grapes Carignan Blanc and Carignan Gris that inform the white aren’t recognized by French law. Cocoa powder, toasted pecan and Latakia tobacco accent blackberry preserves on the nose and a sappy, glycerol-rich palate, with a lick of salt serving for some saliva inducement and seed-crunching piquancy for invigoration on a finish of modest persistence. This outstanding value should serve admirably through at least 2014. Incidentally, here is one of many wines for which enologist Claude Gros completely de-stems the fruit by means of a chamber that functions via a combination of a critical temperature and shaking, then selectively adds-back stems to the fermentor as he thinks merited. The plan is to in the future age this wine in foudre. (A corresponding – and, similarly, tank-raised – Cotes du Roussillon Villages was, surprisingly, too gum-numbing to at all strongly recommend.)

89 points, eRobertParker.com (Jan 2014)