Winter Solstice

[bottle]Clos du Paradis “Domaine Viret” 1999 Vin de Pays Porte de Méditerranée “Solstice” (Rhône) – Aromatically, this is dominated by its deep, sweaty, slightly animalistic mourvèdre…a grape that is, here, pretty close to mature and drinking beautifully, albeit in a sort of anti-fruit fashion. The problem, however, is that the cabernet sauvignon and merlot still have a firm grip on the wine’s structure, which shows very little signs of resolving anytime soon. Nor are those grapes’ aromatics much developed. The result is a wine with more than a little unwelcome bipolarity. I don’t know what the solution is, other than to not do things like blending mourvèdre and grenache with cabernet and merlot. (12/07)

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