Rosemary George is back from three weeks in New Zealand, and with both New Zealand and Californian winemaking friends for dinner just after International Women’s Day, she thought it appropriate to offer up three quite contrasting wines made by women from Occitanie.
2015 Dame Mourvèdre, Villa Dondona
Not only is Jo Lynch a talented winemaker, but also a talented artist; she designs her own labels. The wine is pure Mourvèdre, aged in vat rather than barrel. It was a beautifully balanced combination of elegance and structure, with some red berry fruit and a firm tannic streak, providing a satisfactory backbone. Drinking beautifully now, but with potential to age.
2012 La Perle de Jones, Syrah, from a single vineyard, Falandrin, Vin de France.
Katie Jones’s first vintage was 2009 and judging from my last tasting with her, she no longer makes this wine. A cousin gave me the bottle a little while ago and it had been in the cellar awaiting the right moment. The colour was deep and young, and the nose intense with rich black fruit and with a rich oaky palate. At 14.5°, I could taste alcohol on the finish. Elegant it was not; rich and powerful it was. I think Katie’s winemaking has evolved considerably since this earlier vintage and her wines are now much more elegant than this example.
2014 Minervois, les Fontanilles
Made by a Burgundian, Anne Gros, and amply illustrating that the Minervois can indeed to be elegant. It is a blend of Grenache Noir and Cinsaut kept in tank, and Syrah and Carignan, aged in barrel. The nose has understated southern spice which develops in the glass and the palate is also elegantly understated, with spicy fruit, silky tannins and a long finish.
Read more from Rosemary here.