Wine Review of 2014 Château de Ciffre Grand Vin Saint-Chinian Red, Languedoc, France
This Languedoc red by famous Lorgeril house from the Languedoc wine region, produced on their Chateau de Ciffre estate in the small Cabardès appellation near Carcassonne, is made from 100% Syrah grapes.
The ageing/maturation was run in French oak wine barrels for 12 months.
This Languedoc red comes in a pretty dark and vibrant red color, of a juicy bloody red with slight hints of purple hues.
The nose is a subtle combination of ripe red berry aromas with a sense of deep earthiness.
The fruity characters are warming and comforting, with notes of juicy and sweet blackberry and hints of peppery blackcurrant. These feel very fresh, although generously ripe for sure.
The earthiness, like the smell of wet clay, provides character and depth to the aromatic profile, while spicy tones of white and black pepper lift things up with a slight chili-like feel. Hints of vanilla and caramel on the other hand sweeten and round up the profile.
The palate surprises, straight away, by its smooth roundness. Tannins are dense and more importantly velvety, almost silky. They come with a coating oily body, for an overall sensation of creaminess in your mouth. This generosity is balanced by a good acidity cutting through the oily texture, amplifying and freshening up the bursting red berry flavors.
There is an explosion of peppery spiciness and herbal characters (like fresh Provencal herbs, sage and thyme in particular) from the mid-palate on.
Eventually, the finish feels warm, fruity and comforting, slightly hot from the spices, but also sweet-feeling from a wealth of vanilla and layers of caramelized hazelnut.
A complete Saint-Chinian wine, dense and generous, filled with a wealth of zesty ripe fruit character, nicely combined with the genuine expression of its terroir in the form of a hot spiciness and earthy tones.
The whole seems to have been coated in well-integrated oak, that has deepened and smoothened up the wine, but that some may find have weighted things up a little.