2014 Jules Côtes de Provence, Provence, France (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 3g/L) LCBO Vintages $18.95 (
550 750ml bottle)
As each quarter the weather begins to turn, my thoughts always move towards wines that fit the approaching season. This week I was looking for a red to stand down these slightly cooler days with a warm blast of the south of France, and this 60% Syrah/40% Cabernet Sauvignon Provençal blend from Julian Faulkner came across my doorstep; how could I resist the temptation to give it a whirl?
Despite being from such warm climes, the fruit is rather reserved but wonderfully pure. As always I tasted this with a little bit of a chill on it, and it did take a little time for the nose of hedgerow blackcurrants and brambles to develop and become more expressive in the bowl. Despite the 12 months in French oak, there’s no a huge amount of oak character present, and the little that is there is wholly integrated into the rest of the wine. 2014 was a notably hot and dry vintage, but it appears that this has been taken into account with regards to picking times, as the fresh Syrah and Cabernet fruit is quite delightfully preserved here, both on the nose and palate.
There’s a freshness and brightness on the palate that I always find extremely appealing in such wines. The mouthfeel is extremely smooth with some well-managed tannins giving the wine just the required bit of grip. The satisfying mid-palate carries through to a spicy and peppery finish. Really rather tasty.
Julian Faulkner’s wines, both Jules and Le Grand Cros, are represented in Ontario by Noble Estates.
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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And hopefully he has learned his lesson re: background noise.