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Domaine de Tudery (France) Saint-Chinian
Vieilles Vignes 1998

Here's lovely example of what thoughtful, intelligent winemaking can do within a humble appelation like Saint-Chinian. Seventy year old Syrah and Carignan vines produce fruit which is vinified by carbonic maceration to give a soft, accessible wine. This is blended with Grenache, which is vinified by traditional fermentation. Part of the blend is then aged in tank, part in new oak barrels. This process produces a powerfully spiced and lushly fruited wine with dark damson aromas and a liquoricy depth. On the palate this is juicy, supple stuff with good acidity and drying tannins, a definite meatiness about the palate and plenty of rich spiciness in the finish. Yet more confirmation that just about any red from the south of France is well worth trying in the 1998 vintage.
Safeway, 5.99.