Scattered toward every wind …

Château du Donjon 2006 Minervois

So i went with the unknown upstart: Château du Donjon 2006 Minervois

Château du Donjon 2006 Minervois

i’d no previous knowledge of the minervois appellation and actually found it quite difficult to track down much information on it. here is what i did find …

The Minervois name comes from the village of Minerve, a scenic village located in the south of France in the Languedoc region. Here is a map for visual reference:

Minervois wines are exclusively red wines “and are produced from Carignan (which can account for no more than 40% of the blend), Grenache, Lladoner Pelut, Mourvedre, and Syrah grapes”. This particular Minervois from Château du Donjon is made from Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan.

A couple more interesting things to know …

Carignan had become the most widely grown grape varietal in France by 1988, but in an effort to drive the quality of wine up, the European Union started a vine pull program. This program offered cash subsidies to vineyard owners provided they pull up their vines. Though this vine pull program didn’t target only owners of Carignan vines, it had its largest effect on the varietal, dropping from 167,000 planted hectares in ’88 to 95,000 hectares in 2000. Merlot is now the most widely planted grape in France.

On to business …

We consumed the entire bottle of this Minervois in one evening, so there is no second day to talk about.

First Pour: Not surprisingly, right out of the bottle, the first sip was acidic, effervescent, and a bit harsh. The notes that did come through were dark cherry and some spice. The finish seemed to linger forever.

Second Pour: A full glass this time, after letting it breathe for 20-40 minutes. As expected, the effervescence disappeared along with most of the harsh acidity. Replacing these characteristics was a wonderful balance of cherry and a bit of raspberry and white pepper. Some of the initial heat from the first pour lingered, but i felt added depth rather than making this an unpleasant wine.

Last Glass: Little nose, lots of finish. Plenty of oak and white pepper. Cherry and even a little plum coming through … the heat that i thought added depth to the second pour, was, for the most part, absent from this final glass. The wine had mellowed a bit too much for my liking.

Overall: Showed promise, but lost too much of its mystique by the final pour. I would rate it as a slightly above average everyday table red. As with most wine, i would be curious to see what a year of cellaring would do. Probably won’t buy again, not because i didn’t enjoy it, but just because there are a lot more wines to try and a handful of wines that i know i love for around the same price (i paid around $13).

Coming up … a white???

that’s right … i traveled “home” to Baltimore last week and had a little wine and cheese party where i managed to find a white wine i truly enjoyed.

2008 Cat Amongst the Pigeons Unwooded Chardonnay

The breakdown of the tasting experience will not be as in depth because of the nature of the party … i didn’t have the same amount of time with the wine that i normally do … with that said, i think what i will actually do is pick my favorite red from the night as well and just talk about the white i loved, and the red i loved.

Stay tuned …


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