Decanter – Vintage 2020

TASTING NOTES 2020 by Matt Walls

Rasteau red “Argilla ad Argillam” 2020
The aromas somehow creep, unfurl and spread out of the glass. It’s pretty wild and there’s a distinctly spicy side to the red berries, wild strawberry, raspberry and rose. It has really bright, sharp, incisive acidity, then neat, tight tannins. Remarkably fresh, precise, expressive and cool for a Rasteau – a wine of real character and drinkability. There is some reduction currently, so decant it. From lieu-dit Sambiches, red clay and limestone soils at 340m altitude, aged in amphora.

Rasteau red “Héritage 1924” 2020
This is very ‘Rasteau Grenache’ on the nose, it has the characteristic strawberry and violet notes. Slightly candied raspberry, too – it really is so classic. Round but not overly full-bodied. Not heavy or thick, this is satin-textured with very fine tannins. Yes the alcohol is warming, as you’d expect from a pure Grenache, but good acidity brings balance and a long finish, with a good sense of elegance. From a parcel of Grenache planted in 1924 in lieu-dit Les Fouquesses, towards the top of the slope, all destemmed, matured for nine months in concrete.

Rasteau red “La Ponce” 2020
Lovely sense of ripeness and site expression here – a great match of ripe fruit, beaming acidity and freshness, all enclosed within a firm, crunchy tannic shell. It’s harmonious already, with perfect ripeness and well balanced. Topped off with a long finish. Very impressive. From lieu-dit La Ponce, grown between 310m and 340m altitude, all destemmed, fermented in concrete, 15 months maturation (Syrah is matured in old barriques).

Rasteau red “Classique” 2020
Ripe, pure and expressive, this has layers of fresh plum and blackberry, violet and subtle iodine notes. Beautifully silky and svelte on the palate, this is an archetypal Rasteau. From younger vines, grown between 260m and 340m altitude, matured in concrete only.

Rasteau red “Les Coteaux” 2020
Full-bodied, ripe and fresh. This is well made and very Rasteau in style, but not as elegant or refined as some of their other cuvées this year.

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