750 mL Bottle
This is a unique wine that should be more widely appreciated. Granted, it is labelled as a humble Côtes du Rhône Villages, and yet it offers the depth and class usually associated with a top Gigondas, Rasteau or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is the Mourvèdre-dominant cuvée of the Mas de Libian line up, finessed by 10 per cent Grenache. Calade is old Provençal patois for a steep, stony path, which gives you an insight into the terroir for this wine. It comes from a very low-yielding 1ha parcel within the same pudding-stone terroir as the Khayyam bottling. The vines here were planted in 1970 and grow in a layer of galets roulés (alluvially smoothed stones) that run between 1.5-3 metres deep. One third of the wine is aged in older demi-muids (600 litre barrels), two thirds in cement. Cropped at a crazy low 15hl/ha, it's almost saturated with freshly picked blackberry and black cherry fruit along with ink, liquorice, chocolate and smoke nuances woven throughout. The Mourvèdre's imprint is further illustrated by hints of hung game and plenty of fine, powdery tannins on the finish.
REVIEWS ON SOME PREVIOUS VINTAGES
Mas De Libian Côtes du Rhône Villages La Calade 2010
La Calade is Old Provencal patois for a steep, stony path, which gives you an insight into the terroir for this wine. This is the Mourvèdre-dominant cuvee of the line-up, finessed by 20% Grenache. The fruit comes from a very low yielding, one hectare parcel within the same terroir as the Khayyâm. The vines here - pictured above - were planted in 1970 and grow in a deep layer of alluvial, galets roulés high on top of an ancient Rhône river terrace (the very similar terroir as much of Châteauneuf-du-Pape). Effectively, it’s a giant mound of large stones, washed up into a terrace by the glacial torrents of last ice age. However it got there, with its head in the sun and roots down deep in search of water, the Thibons’ gnarly old Mourvèdre feels right at home. This a very unique wine that by any measure - other than location - has the depth, class and cellaring ability usually associated with a top Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. One-third of the wine is aged in older demi-muid barrels (600-liters), two-thirds in cement. Cropped at a meagre 15hl/ha, and from a brilliant vintage for southern Rhône, this is a rich and concentrated CDR villages that nonetheless remains very bright and elegant; a wine redolent of freshly picked black raspberry and dark cherry fruit along with ink, liquorice, dried thyme and smoke nuances woven throughout. Free form the 'heat' that tars many a larger-scaled southern Rhône, the Mourvèdre personality is further revealed as its tannins build with air and add shape and grip to the very long, sappy, spice-accented finish. So good!
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