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Provence tasting notes

text and photographs © 2011 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on The Wines of Provence.

CHÂTEAU VIGNELAURE

Château Vignelaure's wines are imported by James Nicolson in Ireland and The Wine Society in the UK. See all UK stockists on wine-searcher.com.

Château Vignelaure, Le Page Vin de pays Rouge 2007
90% Cabernet and Merlot. Deliciously ripe and sweet fruit, with lots of plush berries and creaminess, a bit of structure too and lovely development of sweet fruit, tannins and balanced acidity. Tastes more expensive than the 7 Euro price. 87/100.

Château Vignelaure, La Source Rosé 2010
Second wine. Fine peachy pink, medium density. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Lovely gentle rose hip and gentle raspberry fruit, with a palate riven with acidity that is stony and firm, though the sweet peachiness of the fruit comes through. 87/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rosé 2010
Hand-picked old vines, a blend of 80% Grenache and Syrah. This cuvee made with natural yeast. There's a smoky, herbal minerality here. Again that rose hip note and a similar but deeper berry fruit, but there's a little oatmeal and creamy richness before that very fresh, red fruit acidity. 88/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rosé 2009
There is 70% Grenache in this year with the Syrah. Philippe prefers the rosé with a year in bottle, and this has a darker colour and a powerfully savoury nose, with lots of smoke and herb notes, a touch of spice. The palate has power and depth, the lemony, steely acidity is driving this, but the fine red fruit and herb notes are still lovely, a little gravelly structure. 90/100.

Château Vignelaure, La Source Rouge 2008
Cabernet (50%), Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, part aged in oak. Very schist and bright cherry fruit, nicely fine herb notes, onto a palate of smooth black and red berry fruit, a alight creaminess to the palate but a decent structure too with grip and good acidity. This has some real power and good length. 88/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rouge 2007
Not yet on sale, but early in 2012. The estate believes in long bottle ageing. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah. Oldest vines, handpicked, long maceration and then into barrels for 18 months, one-third new. Gorgeous nose, with delicious cedar and Sandalwood. Has cassis and a delicious cherry edge of freshness. The palate has real grip with liquoricy tannins and plenty of firm, black fruit skin grippy character. Lovely freshness. 90/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rouge 2006
Creamy and full-fruited, seems to have soaked up the barrel more, with a plushness to the aromas. L:ittle spicy and cedary edges. On the palate this has a lovely linear, silky length with a cool-fruited, black fruit mid-palate and a long, juicy finish with plenty of acidity. 90/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rouge2005
Fabulous nose, the cedary quality of the oak but hinting at chocolate and real fruit richness. Quite meaty and deep, but clean too with lovely gamy notes but beautifully pitched. The palate has gorgeous fruit too: very classical structure, lots of fruit but perfect balance from ripe tannins and that cherry skin bite of acidity. 92/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rouge 2004
Gorgeous Bordeaux-like nose, with a touch of cedar and some resinous quality but melding with smooth, ripe black fruits. The tannins here are tight and fine, there is real juiciness, tightness, a squirt of cherry ripe fruit and good acidity, but a structured but beautifully mellow character too. 90/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rouge 1999
Still amazingly youthful and fresh on the nose, but a gorgeous, balanced nose of fine, creamy black fruit, gentle oak smokiness and tiny floral and gamy notes with spice. The palate has delicious fruit sweetness and medium-bodied finesse, with gorgeous, now ripe and silky tannins and lovely balanced acidity. What a fabulous wine. 93/100.

Château Vignelaure, Rouge 1985
This was the first ever AOC Coteaux d'Aix vintage. Fading at rim, but still a healthy ruby colour. Fabulous smoky and gamy notes, really involving and inviting with bacon fat and hints of chocolate. The palate still has inherent sweetness and juiciness, with delicious gastronomic freshness and very fine tannins. Delicious juiciness, and great balance and length. What a terrific wine again. 92/100.

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