A really decent St Chinian

A few of you who know me will know that I spend a couple of weeks near St Chinian on holiday a few years back, in fact it seems to be rather a long time ago – 6 years in fact – which in my wine time is a long time indeed. 6 years ago I wasn’t working in the wine trade, I hadn’t started doing the WSET courses – I was a rank amateur with an interest in wine – but on the visit I really enjoyed the wines and brought a number back to drink. This is the first I’ve broached for some time – the last one was this one’s little brother and I thought it was a bit dried up and hadn’t lasted – so about 2 years on from that I really didn’t know what I was going to find.

I’d bought it with a palate far less educated and experienced than I have now and my taste in wine has changed – so I fully expected to be disappointed with the wine – but far from it – I still really liked it.

Chateau Maurel Fonsalade ‘La Fonsalade’ Vielle Vignes 2001

Mahogany colured, initially tight and closed it opened up after throwing it between a water jug and a pint glass (which was all I could find on holiday – but was well worth it), I then left if for an hour or so and on returning to it found a concentrated wine, with good acidity, lots of black fruit flavours, tobacco, thyme, leather and spice – and what terrific length – it goes on forever. Sadly these wines are not available in the UK – but seriously if you are an importer – check them out – one of the top estates in the region and virtually unheard of. Very good indeed.

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