Abbaye Sylva Plana, based in Faugères, Languedoc
Louise Hurren, a Brit now living in Languedoc, sent me these three wines, previously listed at Majestic, to review.
All three are extremely enjoyable, well-made and improve with a bit of aeration.
It would be good to see them back in the UK as they demonstrate what Languedoc does best; ripe, southern fullness balanced with a well-judged freshness and racy spice-and-garrigue-herbs.
With a clean vibrancy and savouriness that speaks of their organic background and plenty of fruit, they make good quaffers, but also have sufficient underpinnings to work with food.
Le Rosé 2012 sockeye-salmon pink, ripe red berries with white pear and apple fruit, hints of sweet spice and soft, rounded acidity. Good. Clean and savoury with a lingering finish. Match with picnic food or cold cuts.
Les Novices 2012 dark berries, fresh acidity, peppery spice and savouriness - with aeration, the aromas become more garrigue and gamey: fresh, juicy, clean and easy-drinking. Good. Match with autumnal dishes of lighter game, especially roast duck.
La Closeraie 2011 more complex GSM-plus-Carignan blend with ripe black cherry and dark-berry fruit, sweet roasted spices and balanced fresh acidity. Sweet vanilla, fine tannins and savouriness, with a touch of Medoc-esque bell pepper and green herbs.
Drinking nicely now, it evolves and improves with aeration so will benefit from a few more years' cellaring. Match with well-seasoned red meat in stews or roasts.
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Abbaye Sylva Plana - website