2016 Mas de Brunes “Cuvée des Cigales” – Vin de Pays Côtes de ThongueBlend: 55% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 10% Carignan
Tasting Notes: “Cuvée des Cigales” is completely dominated by black fruit. The nose is full of deep blackberry and plum aromas. In the mouth black cherry and blackberry flavors mix with the exotic and complex spice flavors from the Carignan. This is a burly, muscular wine with a lot of character. While an ideal match for grilled meats and game, we also enjoy this wine with the more complex, spicier flavors of barbecue and chili.
"Claude and Isabelle Bertrand have utilized some of her brother Bruno Granier's ancient Carignan to supplement the 60% Syrah and 30% Grenache in their 2007 Cuvee des Cigales from the Cotes de Thongue. But even a "secret ingredient" that concentrated (as witness my reviews in this report of pure Carignan from Granier's La Font de l'Olivier) can at 10% level only go so far in explaining the striking personality of the Bertrand's wine, which gives me a "who turned out the lights?" feeling, followed by an enchanting romp in some very dark territory. Humus, peat, plum paste, dark chocolate, and game share billing with implosively intense, lightly-cooked blackberry and mulberry. The only drawback here is a hint of heat and rasp of tannin accentuating a bite of black pepper in the persistent finish. But this should prove fascinating and versatile over the next several years." - The Wine Advocate