91 Points - Robert Parker
92 Insider Points
"The 2012 Minervois La Ciaude, which is mostly old-vine Carignan with smaller parts Syrah and Grenache, also has serious minerality to go with tangy black cherry, black fruits, leather and violet aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, tight, energetic and elegant, it will have a decade of longevity". - Robert Parker
In the Minervois, We Find Earthy Elegance
Which is right up my alley. Sure, I'll enjoy a tasty, fruit-driven red that goes down super-easy, but at the end of the day I want to be drinking something that shows a balance of fruit and terroir. In comes La Ciaude, a wine that indeed shows a healthy balance of the 2. We ran through the 2011 of this same wine, and this next vintage is just as striking.
An earthy nose, with a touch of blueberry and purple flowers to start with tones of cooking spices as it opens up. An inky medium body with smooth acidity, it shows notes of cranberry, nectarine, macerated cherry, raw leather and a chiseled minerality. The finish is long, and gives additional dark fruit. Drinking well now, and will continue through the next 3-4 years. For the earth-driven drinker. 92 Points - JZ June '18
Carignan- Grenache Noir -Syrah
Minervois AOC, France
This is a stunning Minervois cuvée by way of the Robert Parker-supported new kids on the block, Anne Gros, proprietor of Domaine Anne Gros, and Jean-Paul Tollot of Domaine Tollot-Beaut. Hailing from a great clay-limestone soil with a surface of 3.1 hectares, harvested by hand and vinified and aged separately before being assembled: the result is a wine that's expresses the magical alliance of the burning sun and cool soils where the vines draw its deep water reserves from the pockets of red clay. In a deep red color, the young wine, still on the reserve, has a nose on black fruits with notes of leather, truffle, cedar and peony. The palate is concentrated, silky and fruity. It continues on a finesse minerality.
- Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan from 100+-year-old vines; Carignan, long considered the Languedoc’s workhorse red grape, is decidedly great when vinified properly and especially at low yields as it was in the 2012 vintage.
- Anne Gros and Jean-Paul Tollot found exactly the vineyards they were looking for in Cazelles, a tiny hamlet overshadowed by Montagne Noir. The mountain creates a unique microclimate that is cooler than most sites within the Languedoc-Roussillon, and boasts limestone, sandstone, and clay soil, high-quality vines with good age-range, and an altitude of 220 metres.
- The winery was constructed on site after the terroir was chosen.
- All agricultural practices at this winery follow Lutte Raisonnée, France’s age-old equivalent to sustainable agriculture.
- Aside from eschewing chemical treatments in the vineyard, all grapes are harvested by hand to preserve the natural environment and fermentation is done with native yeasts only
- “Languedoc and Roussillon present a fascinating albeit sometimes confusing mix of wines and wine styles,” writes the Wine Spectator. “You'll just need some patience, and beacons like the Minervois to guide you.”
Hints of sweet and fresh fruit and juicy tanins.
From the winery:
Three cepages which complement each other to give us this wonderful cuvée. On this great terroir consisting of limestone and clay soils, facing south, the white blinding limestone of Agel gave us some wines full or great energy. These fine wines, which benefit from careful maturing in barrels, represent a cuvée superbly silky, combined with concentration and a mineral persistence full of finesse. It is the magical combination of a burning sun and cool soil, from where, deep within, the wine draws the water it needs. Early and steady maturity, lovely acidity...
It is ambitious to reconcile an early maturity with an extraordinary minerality. Still on the reserve, the beautiful black fruits are relayed by an earthly tension (Here ... it reminds me of a Clos Vougeot ...) It is a meal wine that deserves great consideration.All meats will suit him. (I can not stop thinking about a Korean fondue called Shin Sul Ro where the delicacy of the broth would have worn the silky wine ... or vice versa ...) I can not wait to see it age to see if the first emotions will be up to the emotions that can spark the sweetness of great wines ...