A wine of real character, there is a wild ripeness of sweet scented fruit twinned with an edgy woodland perfume. The palate is incredibly long and very rich, scrumptiously juicy fleshy flavours that are counterbalanced and intertwined with the savoury crunchy rooty character of Cabernet Franc.
The Gard region lies at the southern end of the Rhne valley, a river valley which stretches from Lyon in the north to the Mediterranean delta in the south. The red wines here bear the supple textures and peppery influences of the Rhne in their Grenache and Shiraz, but also in their style of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Whites too extend the Rhne thread into the Gard - with Viognier infiltrating from the north (from its rarefied hideouts in Condrieu and Cte Rtie) and Clairette spreading its reach from the top southern Rhne enclave of white Chteauneuf-du-Pape. These grape varieties and the domaines we work with (Bahourat, Mas Barrau, Sources de la Marine and Montval) are all situated on the high plateau of the Costires de Nmes - old river beds of stony, free-draining soil of immaculately tended rows of vines on flat land in large blocks of vineyards, which facilitate very efficient farming and value-for-money pricing.
In the Vineyard
Cabernet Franc is much under-rated and rarely cultivated outside its traditional habitats of Bordeaux and Loire. At Mas Barrau in the Gard region of Southern Rhne, Samantha and Eric have worked to produce a wine that sets new standards for Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Franc grapes for this cuve came from a single Domaine family estate near Nimes.
Juicy lamb shanks, rich tomato based dishes laced with roasted garlic and pepper, marinated steak with mashed potato and green beans or savour it at the end of the meal over a good cheeseboard.
- e now give our friends this as gifts and are bowled over with it. - Review by Ian Cleall-Harding, DUNDEE