Tonight, a dinasour wine. One that isn't roaming the earth any more, at least in its present form. Back in June 2000 I first tasted this wine at La Vigneronne, with Rainer Pfefferkorn the proprietor (notes are here). It was my first ever La Vigneronne tasting - the first of many (these were to prove an important education in my early years as a wine nut), and I described this wine in glowing terms ('lovely, perfumed nose with an unusual medicinal edge. Again, lovely southern character. Opaque purple/ black -- the darkest of the Baruels. Massively tannic with dense fruit and firm acidity. Needs time, but will it ever resolve? Excellent'). Now, six years later, has it resolved. Sort of . Shortly after this tasting Pfefferkorn sold this estate, and I haven't followed it since his last vintage in 1998. But he did make some remarkably long-lived wines from a rather modest terroir, with high acid and tannin, as well as fresh, bright fruit.
Domaine du Baruel 1995 Vin de pays des Cevennes, France
Fresh, bright, spicy, earthy nose with some nice red fruits. The palate is tannic and spicy, with good acid hemming in the red fruits very effectively. It has evolved nicely, but it's still fresh, and there's a lovely earthy complexity emerging. Still pretty tannic, I reckon this is drinking almost as well as it is going to now, while there's still fruit to balance the structure. But no need to hurry. Remarkable for a 11 year old wine from the Languedoc. I'm enjoying this a lot. Very good/excellent 92/100