2014 Laurent Miquel ‘Kinsale’ Faugères, Languedoc, France
Here is how Laurent’s Irish wife Neasa Corish Miquel explains the name of this cuvée: “Our ‘Kinsale’ Faugères celebrates the rugged slate dominated beauty of Faugères in the South of France, and Kinsale, the ‘wine capital’ of Ireland. Ireland, my homeland has been associated with the story of French wines over many centuries – as a Franco Irish couple we are writing a new chapter.”
This Languedoc red from the village appellation of Faugères comes in an intense dark red color, almost black to the core, shiny but dark red to the rim.
The nose is intense and ripe, filled with dark cherry (fresh cherry liqueur? and striking blackcurrant) and leather. Yes, fruit and a distinctive animal character are the dominant tones. Although we’re talking here of a rather nice leather giving the wine a characterful and probably typical smell, not any of the horrible animal smells you may find around.
Truffle I guess is in there, with some torrefaction too, like coffee liqueur, and spices: Provençal herbs, black pepper (aroma typical of Syrah).
Giving all the descriptors I’ve used, you’ve got the point: it’s complex, and I should add pleasing to smell!
The palate is rich and opulent, filling your palate straight up with loads of torrefaction flavors: coffee and dark cocoa, underlined by a developing bitterness, much like the one in very dark chocolate.
But tannins are smooth and the acidity present, but well integrated. Bursting fresh berry fruits populate the experience, and exuberant spices.
A juicy somewhat meaty finish, but also tangy like a blueberry juice would be, rounds up a complex, smooth and fruity tasting.
A surprising wine in many regards, all of them positive.
There are many facets to this wine: the obvious Languedoc terroir filled with truffles, black pepper and a typical leather character, the richness of ripe fruit, well-balanced and integrated oak, and more importantly good acidity freshening up the whole.
A wine with a true personality, fresh but deep, and lively.
A wine to experience then, it is…
Why a 90+/100 score, specifically?
Because in absolute, in terms of concentration and tannic structure, it falls just short of a 91, though some may find fuller than I have. As far as pleasure, balance and complexity though, it’s a very solid 90/100 wine.