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Extended Tasting Note No 3   

Domaine Le Roc Des Anges Segna de Cor 2003 CŰtes du Roussillon Villages
Another extended tasting note. Iím sharing my own private experience of a wine, and as a reader of this site pointed out recently, you reading this note will give you your own separate experience. You canít share mine, but the better my note is, the more you will have a grasp of how I found this wine.

First things first. Appearance. The bottle and label are striking. Itís a tall bottle with virtually no shoulder, and an elegant, modern, rather minimalist label. It shouts classy and modern to the drinker. Prepare for a sophisticated, assured drinking experience. Expectation is important in wine tasting.

This brings me on to my second point. I donít know anything about this producer, and very little about the wine. I suspect it is a varietal Carignan (from memory). Itís CŰtes du Roussillon Villages, which is quite Ďhappeningí at the moment. Itís a shame I donít know more, because the context has the potential to elevate the tasting experience. I always enjoy drinking a wine more, for example, if I have met the producer.

Open the bottle and pour a glass. Itís quite a dark red/black colour. The nose initially is dominated by some roast coffee notes, suggesting a bit of new oak. Underneath that thereís lush, rich fruit. Probably blackberry is the best descriptor. A little jammy, but not badly so. Thereís also a savoury spiciness. Itís ripe and full; not noticeably old world, but not quite new world either. A bit liqueur like. Trying to tie down smells is difficult, isnít it? With vision and hearing thereís a spatial and temporal separation of inputs, respectively. With olfaction, you get everything at once mixed in together. One smell researcher says it isnít possible for people to distinguish more than three different aromas in a mix. Underneath the rich fruit Iím now getting a savoury dimension dominating.

When I take a sip this is noticeably savoury. Thereís some firm tannic structure, together with spicy red fruits and some woodiness. Itís quite a chewy wine. The tannins are mouth drying, but not overly assertive, and the lushness of the fruit counterbalances them quite well. Thereís a sort of inkyness to the wine. You could even say it is minerally.

The context? Iím drinking this on Christmas Eve, after putting the kids to bed. We have my parents staying, and a visitor has just popped in, so Iím not totally undistracted. But Iím drinking from a good glass, with no competing smells, and we havenít started eating yet.

How good is this wine? You know that I think the concept of the Ďbestí wine is silly. But I need to make some sort of quality judgement; Ďqualityí has always to be linked with purpose, as Iíve argued before. This is a very good, but not great wine. Itís certainly in a modern style, but thereís still plenty of southern character to it. Itís quite Ďnew Roussilloní. I think I paid about £8, which is good value. Iíd serve this with food: something rich and hearty, maybe a beef daube. If Iím forced to give a rating, itís not quite 90, but itís closer 90 than 85. Iíd say 88. Itís probably the overall lack of harmony and slight protrusion of the alcohol that costs this wine a higher rating. It doesnít seem quite at peace with itself. But Iím enjoying it, still.

December 2004

see other extended tasting notes:

GrŁnhaus; Veratina; Gaillard

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