2014 Gérard Bertrand Château la Soujeole Grand Vin Malepère, Languedoc
Château de la Soujeole, owned by Gérard Bertrand, is located on the Malepère AOP Appellation area of the Languedoc wine region, nestled in between the towns of Castelnaudary to the West, Carcassonne to the East, and Limoux to the South.
The climate there is Mediteranean but with solid ocanic influence from the Atlantic bringing in humidity and freshness.
The vineyards are near the world-famous medieval Cité de Carcassonne and is cultivated using biodynamics. The Grand Vin wine is a selection of the very best batches produced at the château.
It is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.
This Languedoc red comes in a rather dark red color, black to the core and bright red to the rim with no obvious purple of orange, so showing no sign either of vibrant youth nor of much evolution.
It must be the right to time to enjoy it?
The nose is certainly dominated by oaky notes of vanilla and of sweet and savory spices: clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper. Jammy plum and dark cherry provide the ripe fruit background that marries well with the given spices.
It smells like a spice-rich ginger bread with red berry jam on it. There’s worse to smell at!
The palate though, feels dryer and savorier than the nose suggested. It is clearly dry and not much sweetness is felt, just hints of it coming from the ripe red berry flavor notes, cherry leading.
Tannins are relatively dense, although not hugely so, on a mid-to-oily body. Very smooth the whole feels, though the finish still is a little grippy at this stage.
Powerful black olive flavors are quite dominating (together with the sweet spices and the cherry) and accentuate the savory edge to this powerfully ripe wine.
A kick of black pepper and vanilla populate the finish.
We certainly have here a Southern-French wine that transports you to many places and through many sensorial experiences.
It’s rich, it’s ripe and oaky, but not your usual opulent sweet and jammy hot-climate red. This Languedoc comes with the ripe cherry and jammy-plum-like aromas and flavors, but it is also loaded with spiciness and a distinctive black olive savoriness.
The whole feels balanced although playing with your senses in many contradictory directions making it a little hard to define and describe at this stage.
Probably this is still a young wine that will find its definition and path more clearly with another year or two in bottle to become more focused and linear.
For sure it is lively and filled with personality and promises of a rather sophisticated style.