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label Borie de Maurel (France) Reve de Carignan 2000
Carignan, it is fair to say, is one of the less glamourous Red wine varietals from southern France. It is famed for cropping very heavily and will produce over 200 hectolires per hectare if left unchecked, whereas most quality French wines are produced from yields of 60 hl/ha or less. It is a variety that needs to be controlled with an iron fist to be successful; keeping yields low by rigorous thinning and allowing extra hanging time to ripen rather fierce tannins. Enterprising estate Borie de Maurel in the Minervois has worked a little miracle here, with a wine that is a solid, vibrant crimson colour and has a dense, dark, liquorice and black cherry nose, with hints of sweet violet and blackcurrant. On the palate it maintains a firm, tight, forceful character, but with no lack of juicy black fruit and a creamy texture. Lengthened by a firm tannic backbone, this is seriously-styled and excellent stuff. 7.49 Oddbins