Friday, January 3, 2014

Reviews: *** / ***+ $$ Edouard Labeye Syrah and Grenache-Syrah, Minervois, Languedoc, Pays D'Oc, France, 2010 = GOOD VALUE


By way of background, opening thoughts:  From the Pays D'Oc area of France, we will be sampling a syrah and grenache-syrah blend.  Both hail from Minervois in the Languedoc region.  And both are imported by the Barclay's Wine and available through the online collection, which provided the review samples.



Original tasting and review , December, 2011: This is Edouard Labeye Syrah, Minervois, Languedoc, Pays D'Oc, France, 2010, finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep magenta with definite purple tones.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold purple fruit and a lightly pleasant old-world funk.  From the aroma, seems like this will be tasty and perhaps tangy.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact very sleek and mineral mid-palate fruit.  Red and blue fruits are present, but it is that wide, sleek core of minerality that claims center stage.  The finish is clean and fairly brief.  In balance, this recommends itself with food and will almost allow even such light choices as turkey or salmon.

In summary: Overall, rates three full stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, almost gaining a plus for its distinctive character.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Now the nose is clean and fruity.  On the palate, taut fruit catches up with the minerality to provide a sturdy, structured experience.
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Updated review, over a year later, March, 2013:  Clean, perhaps generic nose.  Consistent palate.
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Original tasting and review , December, 2011: This is Edouard Labeye Grenache-Syrah, Minervois, Languedoc, Pays D'Oc, France, 2010, finished at 13.5% alcohol.  The blend is 60% grenache and 40% syrah.

In the glass: Deep reddish magenta.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows soft and delicate fruit with tiny hints of old-world aromatics.  From the aroma, seems like this will be medium-weight and fruity.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact quite gentle and delicate, pairing aromatic red berries with richer and lightly spiced surrounding dark fruit.  A nice mineral core underlies things.  The finish brings just a nice touch of tannins.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its pleasant, delicate sensibility.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Very shy and clean, almost laundered, aromas.  Gentle red fruits on the palate.  
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Updated review, over two years later, now four years from vintage date, January, 2014:  Medium mahogany/magenta.  Soft, lightly-oaked, red fruit nose - seems nicely poised between sweet red raspberry fruit, deeper aromatics and some acids.  Sparkling, rich red palate, brings all the ripe raspberries and sweet, bouncy acids suggested by the aroma.  Lingering, fresh red berry finish.  Now jumps a full star to three-plus stars, making this a good value.  Ready for drinking now at four years of age.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Pays D'Oc French syrah and blends.

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