This wine is a blend of 85% Carignan with 15% grenache from the Cru La Livinière in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
Vines are 60 years old and planted (in 1922) at about 4000 vines/ha.
Being very old vines of Carignan (‘Les Anciens’ meaning ‘the ancients’ in French), yields are low at 25 hl/ha favoring concentration of the wine.
After fermentation, the wine was aged 12 months in wood tank & 6 months in egg concrete tank. No finning was made, only a light filtration before bottling.
The wine comes in a dark red color, quite a youthful purple hue.
The nose is essentially savorily fruity, and also filled with sweet spices. Marked rubbery character at opening the bottle. It will need to be aerated prior to serving (decanting this wine will be highly recommended).
Dark red berries marry sweet spices aromas for an intense deep nose.
On the palate, the wine is smooth and quite densely tannic. Medium-to-full bodied, the tannins are of a fine texture though filled with personality through some slightly sharp edges and bitterness on the finish.
The mouthfeel is primarily savory with loads of clove and coffee flavors. Earthiness accentuates the savory sensation.
Well integrated oak adds depth of flavors, plenty of toasted tones (dark cocoa, char) and a velvety feel to the tannins.
A powerful, dense and concentrated Carignan wine displaying a unique personality combining discrete fresh fruit characters with earthiness and savoriness aplenty.
While it’s apparent oak has sophisticated the wine, it still showcases its origin and seems to express its terroir with pride.
When to drink?
Despite its 3 years of age, the wine feels youthful and built to age quite a bit further. From its abundant tannins, the wine makes clear that it will certainly withstand a wealth of oxygen through its aging and final decanting prior to serving.
3 to 5 years maturation from now (2019-2021) should allow this Carignan to open up and relax, loosen up its youthful tight personality and let its character shine.
Wine & Food Pairing
Match with tasty red meat dishes.
Rare to medium-rare beef, lamb, or venison should be ideal matches. This is a vampire of a wine. This may sound very raw but while tasting, it really seemed to me Chateau Maris Les Anciens demands to be paired with blood.