Chateau Villerambert-Julien Minervois 2009
This Red wine from Chateau Villerambert Julien, one of the relatively unknown jewels in the Minervois, is not only of great quality, but also great value. The nose is complex, with ripe blackberries and some cherry, a hint of tahiti vanilla and fresh tobacco, with underlying notes of herbs and soft, woody spices. The mouth is full-bodied and amuses the palate with full aromas of cocoa and spices with hints of blackcurrant, wrapped into an extremely smooth and rich texture with a fantastically long finish. Decanting the wine intensifies the aromas and gives the wine an even stronger character, though it lacks the finesse of great reds. Instead, it shines with a lightness rarely seen in a minervois red, which perfectly accompanies its inherent smoothness. The 2002 red is probably the Chateau's best wine up to date. Sadly it is no more available around where I live - I strongly recommend trying this almost great wine which, in my opinion, gives you more pleasure than pretty much any other Minervois in that range.
For a french wine this is a rather strong and heavy wine. Maybe close to light and young spanish rioja. Needs about 15 Minutes of air, resting in the glass. If you don't finish the bottle, be sure to do so within a week. After this short period of time the wine evolves a much stronger taste.
Surprisingly excellent Red with true rafinesse and of a quality you rarely get in this price segment. Like the Chateau's Rosé, the grape varieties and different terroirs are combined to perfection, resulting in a rich, fine, aromatic wine with strong cherry and subtle herb notes on the nose and lush aromas of vanilla, cocoa, red berries and cedar. It has the lightness of a younger wine, pleasant length and softer tannins than one might expect. Can easily be consumed over many days, with each day the wine changes its character, getting heavier and more complex, but also with completely new aromas joining in. Truly magnificent and much more than the sum of its parts - this wine has a distinct character, drinking it is a special pleasure. You'll rarely hear me say anthing like that, but this Minervois can compete with wines in a much more elevated price range. Also try the 2007 rosé, it's simply magnificent.