Sunday, 16 September 2012

Fons Sanatis Reds

I was so impressed last year with the Domaine Fons Sanatis B… d’Agniane 20.09 (a Vermentino) that on spotting some reds from the Domaine in a caviste I didn't hesitate to give them a punt.

Fons Sanatis Couderen 20.09 turns out to be Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Had I known this my bias against producing a Bordeaux blend on such prime terroir would have vetoed the purchase.

Dark, brooding and concentrated without much Cabernet blackcurrent but plenty of classic Merlot fruitcake. Good acidity. Really quite hard tannins are prominent and coat the mouth. Challenging, or at least a shock, to drink on its own but with Merguez sausages laced with harissa followed by cheese it stood up and interplayed brilliantly. Not at all Bordeaux in style is has a herbal streak to it. I also couldn't detect any change to the wine the next day.

If I had another bottle I'd keep it years with the hope it would layer itself out, but I won't be buying any to lay down. Around 12€.

Another bottle in the selection was Senescal L’Art Amont 20.09 I took along to a vendanges lunch. The grape is Aramon, a variety that was once a monster yielding workhorse of the Languedoc. Today it's unheard of which is curious given that in 2008 there were 1719 Hectares of the stuff in the Hérault which amounts to 1.8% of the land under vine. By comparison this is comfortably more than Picpoul and Viognier. It's a hard wine (apparent unoaked) that reminded me of Vin de Table from early holidays in France back in the 1970s. This 2009 version eliminates the rustic and volatile characteristics of those days, but at 15€ is of course seriously priced. I look forward to trying it in slightly more analytical circumstances.

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