Domaine La Guintrandy, a member of Patrimoine des Terroirs; the first (reviewed here) was very well-made and enjoyable now and the second (here), a noticeable step up.
This third wine is really impressive, albeit not yet at its peak.
La Guintrandy is situated at the gateway to the "Enclave des Papes" in the commune of Visan and Tulette in the southern Rhône. It is a modern vineyard steeped in history; a Saracen burial ground has been discovered on the land and a well-preserved thirteenth century papal boundary stone marks the beginning of the domaine and the border between the modern Departments of the Drôme and the Vaucluse.
Made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah from vines aged between 30 and 50 years old and located in the warmest "terroir" and the best-yielding clay and stony soil at an altitude of 230m, the Louise-Amélie is fermented and aged in new oak barriques, then bottled with no filtration.
As a result of all this it achieves 15.5% alcohol, but does not feel overblown, and it has significant aging potential.
It seems much too early to be drinking this 2009 now - it's dark in the glass, it feels inky, dense and tightly tannic, even after an hour or so in the decanter.
There's vanilla and spice on the nose, some good red cherry fruit and prunes on the palate, a richness and depth of flavour with balanced acidity and plenty of smooth tannic grip on the long finish. It's a big wine, with lots of oakiness balanced with fruit, good extract and grippy length.
But at this stage in its evolution, the intense structure and texture dominate and it has not yet relaxed into the wine it is due to become; it's chewy, deep, and full-bodied, with copious intensity as well as texture, it feels rugged and muscular, much too early to be showing its best.
It has all the intense, youthful energy of an early Rolling Stones album, still waiting for a more loose-limbed, hip-shaking swagger to appear.
In the interests of assessing its development, we re-sealed the bottle and sampled every few days; each time, even over a week later, it showed the same persistent intensity of structure.
This, then, is a superbly well-made, impressive and sophisticated wine that thoroughly deserves its two stars from Guide Hachette and 91 Parker Points, but needs a decent amount of cellaring to show its best.
From €12.50 when purchased direct from the domaine - provided for review.
Domaine La Guintrandy - http://www.vins-cuilleras.com/wine-domaine.htm
Patrimoine des Terroirs - http://patrimoinevin.canalblog.com/