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Château Viranel Arômes Sauvages


Chateau Viranel Aromes Sauvages has a very expressive nose with notes of ripe black fruits, pepper, thyme, fennel, pine nuts and just a touch of musk. Arômes Sauvages - wild aromas indeed! Despite the dark brooding colour, the palate is suave and well rounded with great depth of flavour. Not heavy, the tannins are ripe and unobtrusive. Notes of dark chocolate and mocha are abundant in the finish with hints of lead pencil and savoury spice.

Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Subregion: Saint-Chinian
Vintage: 2016
Colour: Red
Grape Variety: Alicante-Bouschet
ABV: 14.5%
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Dark and supple
Drink With: Wild boar or rabbit

Château Viranel's Arômes Sauvages is made from a local grape variety - Alicante-Bouschet - a hybrid grape from the crossing of Grenache Noir and Petit Bouschet back in 1855. Having tasted this for the first time a few months ago, I struggle to see why the grape hasn't been planted far and wide! These vines are old, planted back in 1939, so harvest yields are small and of the highest quality. Château Viranel harvests by hand at perfect maturity, and traditional vinification takes place in concrete tanks.

The wild boar and the rabbit frolicking on the label are regular visitors to the vineyard, and their love of Alicante-Bouschet grapes means that already small yields are reduced even further.

From Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages:
100% Alicante Bouschet, planted in 1939, yields 28 hl/ha. Stainless steel and concrete tanks. Dark wild berries and lavender. White pepper. Distinctive and crunchy and packed with crackling texture. Layers of just-ground-dark-roasted coffee, juniper, pine resin and savoury plum. Lots of rugged character. Definitely a wine for rich game dishes or a rare very well-hung steak (no sauce, thrice-cooked chips, please). Drink 2015-2019. 16.5 Points (2013 vintage)