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Friday, 3 December 2010

Minervois, Benjamin Darnault, 2009‏ - Naked Wines

This southern French wine from innovative online wine merchant Naked Wines is from Minervois, one of the largest sub-regions of the go-ahead Languedoc area - it has been an AOC region since 1985 and covers 61 villages, of which 16 are in Hérault and 45 in Aude. The region, shaped like a vast, natural south-facing amphitheatre, approximately 50km east-west and 30km north-south, has a range of growing conditions depending on altitude, distance from the cooling sea breezes and rainfall levels.

Winemaker Benjamin Darnault forsook a potential career in accountancy to gain experience working at the prestigious Le Terte Roteboeuf in St Emilion and later in Australia before settling in Minervois.

The wine is relatively pale in colour and has ripe bramble fruit and plums on the nose, some soft vanilla tannins, gentle hints of cloves and spice - it's quite restrained and subtle, easy quaffing, but also has some good, balanced acidity and tannic grip on the finish making it good with food. Not as much of a blockbusting crowd-pleaser as I would associate with this part of the world, but well-made and very enjoyable.

The grapes that go into this are not specified but permitted varieties include Syrah, Carignan and Grenache - trivia fans will note that the wine must be a blend to carry the AOC tag.

Match with salami, aged hams and charcuterie in general.

£9.49 / £6.33 for Angels from Naked Wines - provided for review.


Naked Wines - http://www.nakedwines.com/

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