Lord knows I’m a big fan of negociant wine: I have written tomes on Gerard Bertrand and Cameron Hughes and Castle Rock and Kermit Lynch, and as badly as I want to pick apart marketing schemes–not to mention vagueness or even errors in labeling–I really like the approach here. Yes, it plays into the whole *sense of place* keyword “de-mystifying” extravaganza, but for Americans: is that such a bad learning experience? Take Cameron Hughes for example: The label will say “Willamette Chardonnay”. That’s IT. But here. This is different. “Mary Taylor” is just a small signature at the bottom. The entire front label is dedicated to WHERE it is from and WHO made it. It’s quite brilliant in its simplicity–and educational. I had the opportunity to taste through 20 or so wines today from her ever-expanding portfolio, and there are beauties from ALL OVER.

I’m not the world’s biggest Costieres de Nimes fan. Had a bunch over the years, and often the *Southern France* details over-power the *Rhone* aspects. Especially with age. Tasted this one today and just couldn’t wait to get it home, into a glass and on paper for you. It’s a brilliant wine. Dark blue-purple in the glass, clear as a bell, nose weedy and vibrant, etched in asphalt and acid, fruit a glorious bright cherry elixir, muddled with ridiculous wet leather, sarsaparilla and rich earth.

On the palate, this 20-dollar beauty glows even harder. No chubby Paso Grenache here. No thin Pinot-y Santa Barbara versions or moldy, barnyard-y CdP place-marks either. This literally feels like Northern Rhone, depite the latitude and GSM make-up. Shockingly angular, but with sweet beauty crystalizing all over the tongue, creating depth and concentration difficult to process. Stellar start-to-finish, powerful beginning-to-end, it BEGS for 10 to 15 years of age, despite the easy pricing which would psychologically preclude such treatment. These are pretty easy to find these days–and you NEED this wine.

2020 MARY TAYLOR ‘Pierre Vidal’ GR/SY/MV 60/20/20 Costieres de Nimes AOC 14.0


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