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Domaine Laguerre (France) Le Ciste 2002
This wine is a Vin de Pays des Pyrénées Orientales, based around the Fenouillèdes AOC area south of the Corbières hills in the Languedoc. Eric Laguerre has already impressed through his partnership with Gérard Gauby, that has produced the "La Soula" range of super-premium wines, but on his own here he has turned in a bit of a blockbuster red. The nose is just loaded with rich, spicy, blackcurrant and raspberry fruit, with intriguing nuances of currants, rose-hip and a thyme-like herbal quality. It is deep and sonosrous, with a cedary underpinning. On the palate that powerhouse of black fruits pushes through, with a tugging dryness of cherry skin, leather and more of that cedar and earthy character. Tannins are fine, and a subtle acidity helps balance the powerfully extracted fruit. With 14% alcohol, this is a bit of a bruiser, but not at the expense of the wild "garrigue" character of the south. £8.99 Original Wine Company