A nifty little red from the Pays d'Oc (La Clape area). The little nooks and crannies of the Pays d'Oc, with a nod to the Coteaux, are producing some nice wines these days.
It’s not that often you see Italian winemakers stray far from their native lands. Unlike Americans, Australians and some French, they’re not jet set winemakers. So it is intriguing to see a well-established Italian winemaker from the Italian Tyrol go to the French Languedoc to make wine.
Wine from the French Pays d’Oc made by an Italian? This could be interesting. And it is.
Bruno Pellegrini did not need to go to the Pays d’Oc to make wine---or perhaps he did, but only because his desire, not economic necessity, drove him to do so. He evidently saw something compelling in those slopes and hillsides of the Languedoc looking down upon the Mediterranean that drew him?
With Pellegrini’s Alencades, or more properly 2009 Chateau Ricardelle Alencades Vin de Pays d’Oc, a wine that is the product of two vinous cultures, we have an intriguing red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Marselan (a new variety that is a crossing between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache!)
Rich with sun-drenched red and black fruits, the Alencades retains a sizable component of astringent tannins, suggesting some healthy long-term ageability. There’s a soft plumminess here, a meaty, chewy, dense fruit texture, which makes it accessible for the now, but also suggests a benefit from cellar time to allow the wine to knit together....