The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

2005 Do­maine Lafage Cu­vee Lea AT the top of the Lafage range is the 2005 Cu­vee Lea ($39.80, 94 points) from Rous­sil­lon Les Apres, a small AOC (ap­pel­la­tion d’orig­ine con­trolee) de­clared in 2003 for red wine, which must con­tain a min­i­mum of 50 per cent grenache, mourve­dre and syrah (the lat­ter two not less than 20 per cent each of the en­tire blend) plus a max­i­mum of 20 per cent carig­nan. This is a quite beau­ti­ful wine, with a de­li­cious spray of vi­brant red and black fruits and a silky satiny tex­ture thanks to su­perfine tan­nins. More than any­thing, it re­flects Jean-Marc Lafage’s dis­like of heavy ex­trac­tion, be­cause the very low-yield­ing vines can eas­ily pro­vide mus­cu­lar, tan­nic wines that taste ‘‘ as if a hand­ful of stones had been stuffed into a liq­uidiser and ground down to a dark pulp’’. This is English writer Andrew Jef­ford’s de­scrip­tion of the best wines of the Langue­doc: a case of one man’s meat, it seems. James Halliday

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