The Saunders Vineyard has always played a supporting role in comparison to the Wismer Vineyard, but it’s all a matter of style. This is a highly elegant wine, a bit closed at the moment but still imparting spiced apple, creamy vanilla and pear aromas. On the palate, look for layered fruits, stony minerality, oak spice and finesse through the finish.
The Icon 2010 red is a bold blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon that saw 22 months in new oak. This is one heck of a wine. It’s dark and thick in the glass with highly extracted black cherry, blackcurrants, roasted espresso bean, vanilla toast, mocha and an array of thrilling spices swirling around on the nose. It’s big, bold and brash, but not clunky, on the palate and built for the cellar with black fruits, lifted spices, cocoa, vanilla, black liquorice, campfire smoke, persistence through the finish and grippy tannins. Needs time for the moving parts to all come together.
Shows deep colour; good fruit intensity with structure and well-rounded smoothness on the palate. Drink with grilled red meats and lightly spicy Mediterranean dishes.
This solid-value combination of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot reveals a bouquet of cassis, raspberry, tobacco smoke and vanilla on a light- to medium-bodied frame. Tannins are soft, and there is admirable richness and persistency. Drink over the next 2 years.
The 30-ha Domaine de Majas is located to the west of the Roussillon in the village of Caudies de Fenouillèdes. Fully biodynamic since 2007, with Domaine Matassa's Tom Lubbe as consultant. Organic Rolle, Macabeu and Carignan Blanc vines are planted on clay-limestone soil at an altitude of 350-400 m above sea level; they are fermented wild and see just a shadow of sulphur. Salted almonds and hazelnuts glide along a sizeable slick of herbal lees, lifted by a crystalline citrus. White peach, green fig, dried thyme, medicinal-hued white cherry appear on the medium body before mineral salts linger on the finish. Exactly what you want to drink right now with grilled anchovies or white wine and garlic mussels.
Delightful aromas of floral, rose, sassafras and red/black fruit. Lively acidity balances the creamy texture, velvety tannins and jammy fruit flavours of raspberry, cherry and plum. Earthy notes of leather and black fruits linger on the finish. A suitable match with barbecued chicken dishes.
Abundant red berries, chocolate, mocha and vanilla gush forth. But sharp acidity, astringent tannins and medicinal notes need some taming, so decant to aerate the wine. Suited for grilled fare.