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I last drank this wine three years ago and did not care for it- 88 points with the disclaimer to try again.  Well, I opened another bottle last night and was pleasantly surprised- and I figured out why.  It’s a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre.  That last component is what threw me initially.  Mourvedre has a meaty, gamey, herby flavor profile which sets it off from other varietals, especially when young.  I think it was not expected back when I first tasted it nor did I care for the flavor.  I have matured somewhat in tasting wine and definitely expanded my palate somewhat.

Inky and opaque, this wine is a deep purple color.  The nose has pronounced aromas of black fruit, game, green herbs, charred oak, licorice and white pepper.  The palate is dry, with gripping/young tannins.  The acidity is quite high in this full bodied wine. The bold, black fruit flavors are enveloped in searing tannins on the mid palate.  The oak influence and gamey notes play second fiddle to blackberry, black plum and graphite.  This is not a wine to serve to the uninitiated- it’s not a sipping wine either.  It needs a big, juicy hunk of meat, either beef or lamb to mellow out the tannins and complement the bold flavors.  I can see why the pros went upwards of 95 points on this $20+ wine.  I’m thinking 92.  It gets 5 stars technically, but like I said, be ready for a different beast with this one.  Drink till 2030.  Salut….