2016 Ciry Cattaneo Les Petites Choses Tempranillo, Pays d’Oc IGP, Languedoc
Score: 90+/100 points
‘Les Petites Choses’ by Languedoc producer Domaine Ciry Cattaneo is a micro-cuvée made in very limited quantity from a single block vineyard, from 100% Tempranillo grapes. Very rare for a French wine!
Tempranillo is obviously more commonly grown and associated with Spanish wines, or Rioja or Ribera del Duero in particular.
This is an organic wine, made from grapes grown on limestone soil at a relatively high 350 to 400 meters above sea level (about 1000 feet) therefore in a relatively cool-climate part of the Minervois appellation in the Languedoc wine region of Southern France.
Only 1839 bottles of Les Petits Choses (understand ‘the small things’) were produced for this 2016 vintage.
Overall Review & Tasting Impressions
A young but clearly promising red Tempranillo wine, so unexpected from Languedoc, yet so obviously successful!
Deep, concentrated and layered, it is fresh, acidic and mineral.
All the structural elements are built-in this young red for it to become a total success and delight to enjoy in 3 to 5 years. Should age for a solid 10 years or more for the patient wine collector.
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Full Tasting Notes
This French Tempranillo comes in a rather dense and intense ruby red color, filled with purple hues betraying this is a concentrated and young wine. A little hazy making it look even deeper.
The nose is still quite restrained and shy at first. Give it a solid half hour of decanting before serving, if not an hour. Then it opens up and becomes more talkative.
Dark cocoa is the dominant aroma to the nose, closely followed by plum liqueur, almost prune although, there are fresh and vibrant notes of red berries as well.
Spicy white and black pepper, sweet spices like clove. There is a lot going on should you allow the wine to breathe and take some time to let it express itself. A complex and deep nose yet feeling generous to smell at overall.
Put this Tempranillo in your mouth, and its palate appears smooth but densely populated by concentrated velvety tannins coating your taste buds like drying silk. Oily body with a clear vibrant acidity make for a dry red wine with mineral, slightly salty, and a smooth balance.
Flavors, again, are a little shy. It feels young and like a wine needing time to settle in and build up confidence. But the deep ripe red berries, layers of spices, and the obvious yet well-integrated vanilla and caramel smoky notes are there, delighting the senses.