John Livingstone-Learmonth – Vintage 2020

TASTING NOTES 2020 by John Livingstone-Learmonth

Côtes du Rhône Villages Roaix red “Les Hautes Granges” 2020
Deep, bold robe; the bouquet carries much potential, has an inky depth, is fuelled with handsome black berry fruits, cassis, licorice and a pine-menthol tone attached, signs of oak. The palate is full of verve from the off, runs freely, delivers a good rolling bounty of black fruits with sparks of freshness en route, oaking en route. It’s extremely engaging, is a top Villages 2020, most striking, with subtleties and freedom in its composition. 

Rasteau red “Classique” 2020
Dark red; the bouquet has a light touch, shows cassis, blackberry fruit with a little herbal side, is nicely together. The palate runs with clear fruit, is tasty and stylish, the juice pure, carries a gentle floral hint. The tannins are bright and fine. It’s a harmonious, most attractive Rasteau, has the sagesse of the vintage, is nicely controlled, the length good and refined.

Rasteau red “Les Coteaux” 2020
Subdued red robe; there’s a plum, blackberry mix on the nose. The palate starts on a mild strawberry jam flavour, is easy textured, the tannins pliant, the finish juiced, round. It’s an accessible Rasteau and clear enough. 

Rasteau red “La Ponce” 2020
Quite a dark red; the nose asserts around a raspberry liqueur aroma, has a herbal sideline, carries sunny sweetness. The palate links closely, serves a fluid, rolling content with plump tannins on board, ploughs quite a deep furrow towards the finish, fuelled by Grenache plum fruit. 

Rasteau red “Argilla ad Argillam” 2020
Quite a full red colour; the nose has a natural garrigue character, notes of sweet plums, a perfume-floral hint. The palate opens with loose, easy abundance, has a fleshy, sweet tone to its content, carries an old rose scenting that is pleasing, even has Pinot connections, with a little revival of the perfume into the refined finish. Its juice is tasty and prolonged. It’s calm, enjoyable. 

Rasteau red “Héritage 1924” 2020
Red with some depth; the nose is well together, gives a sturdy air of raspberry, a backdrop of cooked plum, tea leaves, a mineral angle. The palate is nicely measured, comes with enjoyably fluid richness, the tannins fine and clear, helping its length. It’s a good drinking, pretty, very coherent Rasteau, emphasizes clarity and purpose over excess intensity. The aftertaste is marked by spearmint, good clarity.

Cairanne red “Le Ventabren” 2020
Matt hued red robe; the bouquet has a menthol-spearmint tone, tucked in below with fine black cherry and licorice. The palate is mild in manner, carries supple content, blackberry fruit flavouring with a hint of blueberry. Its tannins are well on the inside. It’s an easy drinking, uncomplicated Cairanne, with trim length.