Tuesday, July 13, 2010

**+ $ J Mourat Fiefs Vendeens Collection Red, 2006, Mareuil, Loire, France - Review and Rating

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Review: Well, the oddness of J Mourat Fiefs Vendeens Collection Red begins right in with the bottle. Looks like an old cask of brandy, not the blend of pinot noir, cabernet franc and negrette that it really is.

In the glass, the pinot noir is apparent, with the light red, translucent color. Aromas include a bit of fresh laundry along with the taut, aromatic fruit. I'm anticipating an acidic, biting sip.

In fact, the sip is even more bracing than that! The first hit is a front-of-mouth assault of fresh broccoli smothered with lemon juice. More bracing than after-shave on a slightly cut chin. The acids resolve into a mid-palate, leafy experience as the tight fruit opens just a bit on the finish, mixing with the lemon and vegetables. At this point I can offer two stars out of five for the unique experience.

You could look at this as another failed experiment in my mostly fruitless efforts to identify a high-value, low-cost pinot noir.

Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library liked it a bit better, awarding 88 points and saying, "very dry; a very sour cranberry component, but then heavy levels of veggies (lettuce, green peppers); a medium bodied wine; heavier and more intense than I expected."

Interesting note: after three (3!!!) hours of decanting, this really began to settle in a bit, actually spitting out a bit of sweet fruit around the taut core. Adding a plus to the two stars for promise.

Updated Review,  over a year and a half later, July, 2010:  In the glass, this still looks Pinot Noir-esque, but now with just a hint of brick at the edge.  Aroma is now a touch of old-world vegetable with a peppery fruit backup.  With the age, the tasting resembles more the original tasting after a long decant - the lemon has evaporated entirely.  Taut mid-red experience.   Remarkably, still seems to have potential with more age.  Leave it at 2 stars with plus for promise.

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