Score : 93/100
This 2014 vintage of Chateau Maris is a new wine for the Languedoc producer based in the area of La Livinière, Minervois in the Languedc-Roussillon region.
It is made from ripe Syrah grapes grown biodynamically.
But how good is it?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
This is dark wine, with a dense nearly-black color with a touch of purple. One cannot see through the dark red hue.
The nose strikes with intense plum, almost prune notes, dark cheery, and dark cocoa.
You’ve got the point, it’s dark smelling, whatever that means!
But there’s more. swirl the glass a little, and that’s when a wave of powerful black pepper invades the atmospheres. This immense spiciness is accompanied by clear dark clove notes, some nutmeg, and a touch of earthy leatheriness giving it a savory edge while the first approach was all about fruit.
Promising smell then, with a very broad spectrum of aromas sophisticatedly revealed more and more at each sniff.
Like the nose did, the palate sensations first strike with powerful juicy fruit notes: acidic yet very ripe dark cherry, juicy blackberry, purple plum.
The juicy, almost meaty acidity of the wine is a standout, marrying the flavor profile superbly and giving it an edge AND a unique personality.
Let me take this back!
Beyond the standout acidity, the whole overall balance is the standout in this wine.
Let’s run through it.
The palate starts on acidic berry-like sensation, full of ripe dark cherry and blackberry goodness. Then some sweetness kicks in. Not that the wine is actually sweet. It IS dry. But residual sweetness from so much ripeness and goodness. Then the spices and the tannins take over to deliver a rather savory finish which neutralizes the richness and make you want to go for another sip.
Dense but not overly so, the tannic structure is, more importantly, very smooth. Again, very well balanced by a solid but not over-done body.
The oaky flavors and its silky texture are extremely well measured and balanced, a model of integration. Yes, the oak is there, but it doesn’t feel in any way that it’s affected the original expression of the fruit. It’s just underlined it, giving it some extra smoothness, spiciness and length.
An absolute stand-out of a wine, a masterpiece of balance, pure expression of ripe balanced fruit with very well executed winemaking.
In this wine, one can feel the absolute best the Minervois-La Livinière terroir can offer, and probably one of the best expressions of a wine in Languedoc in general.
The ‘Dynamic’ has kept the authenticity of where it comes from, yet bringing it to another level all of us can appreciate. Pure expression of great fruit and care at the vineyard, sublimated by reasonable and controlled winemaking.
Some very special congratulations to the winemakers, for putting together such a nearly-perfect example of balance.
Definitely: a wine to experience…