Gourmande Dame

Dark, dark red in the glass, running perhaps slightly garnet toward the edge, but mostly just red and black. Closed-in and dog-watery on initial pour, with plentiful air the nose blossoms to an exotic berry, rounded and calmed with slight rusticity just hinting at funk, rich cherry touched with peach and strawberry: not voluptuous–but also not shy. Straight-forward and fenced and very promising after a decant–something I ordinarily would not consider for a South France wine, but the reds of Provence have taught me otherwise over the years. I’m kinda assuming Syrah and Grenache, but wines from these parts often contain other *usual suspects* like Carignane and Mourvedre–and can sometimes surprise you with injections of Cab.

Quite plain in the mouth: a greasy inflection of dark fruit with definite curls of briar and peppery heat. The blackberry and cherry are a fabulously structured version: on one hand feeling almost watery over the middle as acid and tannin over-take, but circling back around to this wine’s idea of full-fruited it presents on entry and finish. It’s so mellow and clean while still concentrated–a shocking juxtaposition from a California perspective where wines are ONE -or- THE OTHER–rarely this restrained and unapologetic about an unwillingness to wow.

But for the thinking person: WOW it does. Chalky tannins morph easily off spice and mineral and the fruit never pauses in its subterfuge of your opinion to render it “un-fruited”. An astonishing little blend, and another notch in the lipstick-case of Provence reds.

2017 MAS DE LA DAME ‘La Gourmande’ GR/SY 50/50 Les Baux de Provence France Sud 13.5


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