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Domaine Rimbert Saint-Chinian les Travers de Marceau 2006

November 2, 2009


I was quite excited to find this Jenny and Francois Selection locally – they specialize in distinctive and pure natural wines – but have a very limited distribution in the Mid-West. I haven’t been drinking too much wine from the Languedoc lately, and this looked appealing to try with braised short-ribs with parsnips. This particular cuvee is a blend of old vine Carignan with some  Syrah and Cinsault . I tend to be weary of Syrah when it is grown too far south (it can get goopy) but the Carignan and Cinsault drive a great balance, with a clean but deep brambly character and good acidity. The low (12.5 degree) alcohol is marvelous in creating a refreshing palate despite the richness of the nose – while the tannins are sweet, but slightly grippy.

From a flavor standpoint, it’s massive blackberries, thyme, and a petrolly funk that mostly blew off after about an hour. A slight hazelnut flavor, which sometimes happens with natural wines with minimal SO2 treatment. This isn’t that last word in complexity or finish, but it’s an absolutely a fun natural wine and great value at sub$15. Perfect with the earthy braise – the acidity really helped lift the palate and show the most from the beef and parsnips without becoming heavy.

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