How Good is Ciry Cattaneo Malabestia Minervois?
2016 Ciry Cattaneo ‘Malabestia’ Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Trained in Champagne and Bordeaux, Ciry is a consultant winemaker for several producers in his Languedoc area as well as on the international scene, with a passion for precise winemaking, organic viticulture and a pure expression of terroir in his wines.
Malabestia is, so far, his main cuvee from Minervois, made from 60% Grenache Noir, 25% Carignan and 15% Syrah, a typical blend from the area.
The estate as well as all Ciry Cattaneo wines are certified organic.
This Languedoc red comes in a dark and rather intense red color indeed. It looks nearly black to the core, not your hugely dark wine but still pretty intense. The rim is of a dark red as well, deepened by purple hues.
The nose is youthful, somewhat restrained for a Languedoc wine. Pungent citrus aromas of grapefruit and lime are surprising, bringing in a sense of zesty vibrancy to the dominant cranberry notes.
Red cherry and white pepper, a soapy and vanilla feel. Complex and intriguing it is to smell at, somewhat disconcerting!
Put the wine in your mouth, and you realize this is clearly a Languedoc in a dry style, boasting a wealth of acidity-tasting flavors, from its elevated cool climate terroir.
Clearly, and unusually, this is a red wine featuring more citrus, orange juice and lemon flavors, together with acidic cranberry flavors, than your usual cooked-red-berry-flavored red wine profile you sometimes get from Minervois.
The palate bursts with spicy white pepper tones and a juicy tanginess from a sharp acidity, accentuated by dense but edgy phenolics.
Long and layered finish, exploding in lemon and acidic kiwi fruit flavors.
Such a youthful, tangy, acidic, and concentrated young wine, it is somewhat disconcerting and difficult to apprehend accurately. The fruity expression is so sharp, and somewhat precise at this stage, that it keeps itself away from simple approachable enjoyment.
A concentrated and precisely-made Languedoc wine this certainly is however, boasting an explosive wealth of character, layered complexity and a rare acidity.
This all promises that this wine, while shooting in all directions and a little disconcerting at the moment, will evolve into a complex and shining star of precision and complexity in the future, as it smoothens up and develop over time.
A wine to cellar, unusually, to be one of the very few that will witness that appearance of a bright shining star in Languedoc and be one of the very few first adopters of what will certainly become a staple in Minervois.