(2020) From vines that are over 70 years old, farmed organically at altitude in the Bekaa Valley, Domaine de Tourelles adopt a very much 'hands off' approach with this wine, fermenting with indigenous yeasts in their traditional concrete vats, the wine not seeing any oak. That makes for a deep crimson purple wine with an explosively aromatic nose of crushed black berries, truffle and pepper, the sleek vinous quality also suggesting concentration. In the mouth that holds true: the intensity matched by the ripe cherry, plum and blackberry depth of sweet fruit, tannins like silk and the acid balancing in a very natural and gastronomic way. A lovely wine this, available in many independents - use our wine-searcher link. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Musar famously releases it's wines only when they think they are ready to drink, typically seven years after vintage. So this is the latest release at time of review, a blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon from very old vines grown at over 1,000 metres altitude in the Bekaa Valley. It seems to me to be an outstanding Musar, filled with gently lifted aromatics of kirsch and blackcurrant, all framed by a graphite and cedar notes of serious, savoury and Bordeaux-like character. In the mouth the sweet, ripe fruit is enveloping, but the wine has such fabulous concentration and supple, firm structure at its core, all polished tannins and gastronomic acid-balance, the pure, sweet fruit persisting to the elegant, very long finish. A wonderfully impressive young Musar this, irresistable now, but capable of substantial cellaring too, Musar tending to transition from something like Bordeaux, to something closer to Burgundy, over decades.
(2020) A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 15% Carignan and 5% Cinsault, this is fermented with native yeasts and made in concrete vats, unflitered and unfined to give what Tourelles describe as "A true expression of the Bekaa Valley." There's an honest, rustic authenicity about it, plum and cherry fruit, damp earth, a suggestion of briar wood and herbs. In the mouth the sweet ripeness of the fruit is striking, a big and bountiful plateful of black cherries and summer berries, but those firm tannins, good juicy acids and a bit of serious, sinewy structure give it some food-friendly heft and probably fair longevity too. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. Quite widely available.
(2019) What a lovely Bordeaux lookalike this is, blending 60% old vines Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot, and aged in new French oak. There's a rich, primary black berry fruit density on the nose, but spice and hints of game and cedar too, a lovely hint of tertiary development just starting to creep in. In the mouth espresso backs up the seam of blackcurrant, a tingle of clove spice and very polished tannins give volume, and the acidity is excellent, drawing the wine to a long, fine finish.
(2012) Masses of coffee and torrefaction, the blackcurrant fruit bold. This has a little gamy edge, a little drying leathery quality to the tannins, with delicious juicy fruit just sitting nicely, and the balance of tannins and acids keeping it long, spicy but focused on fruit.
(2012) Another wine made in the year when the Israelis invade in July, and harvesting was a big problem. Big, very ripe and deep colour to this wine. Cedar and again a real meatiness here, with some roasted meat and hints of bacon fat, ripe and plummy fruit beneath. The palate has a flood of sweet, ripe, mouth-filling fruity with big chewy tannins and plenty of oak giving a huge scale to the finish of this wine, which is spicy, dense and full into the finish. Long and structured, it would be good to come back to this in a few years.
(2012) Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvèdre. The nose is quite closed on this, with some woodsmoke and tightly structured and a real tight black fruit focus. Tannins really quite structured, by far the grippiest and most serious wine of the trio so far, but nicely balanced and showing real length.
(2012) Beautifully resolved nose, the combination of the black fruits, the tight-grained, lightly cedary oak and the mineral character is lovely. The palate has such a delightfully savoury, spice and cedar-spiked quality, with a real grip to the tannins and juicy acidity. This is perhaps erring on the dry side, but is such a lovely wine too with delicious fruit. Hard to say if it should be kept for 10 years or drunk, but another fine wine.
(2012) No Petit Verdot. A touch of mushroomy decay beginning, with a dried cherry and sweet stewed tomato character, with some herbs and some cherry fruit. The palate is soft and sweet, with lovely sour cherry acidity and a very nice drink. Probably time to drink this soon, but soft and delicious.
(2012) Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, a touch of Mourvèdre and Carignan, a selection of the best vineyards at 1,100 metres. Aged in all new French oak. Lots of spicy oak here, lots of toast and a touch of marzipan, quite buttery. The fruit has a lovely dry extract richness and smoothness, with plum and cherry melding with tobacco notes and some chocolaty density to the tannins. Smooth and rich and very young.
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