Castelmaure, Les Hauts de Castelmaure, Corbières 2018
Decanter average score: 95/100pts Individual judges’ scores: Justin Howard-Sneyd MW 92 Andrew Jefford 95 Frederic Marti 98 £11.95
Embres-et-Castelmaure is a tiny village in Corbières with about 150 residents, all of whom are grape-growing families and many are members of the local cooperative, which produces this wine. Collectively they own 350ha of vineyards divided into 760 separately managed plots of vines aged up to 80 years. The grapes for Les Hauts de Castelmaure are hand-harvested and vinified using ultra-modern equipment. The Carignan goes through carbonic maceration to best display the fruit characters before being blended with Syrah and Grenache and transferred into one-, two- and three-year-old barrels to be matured for 10-12 months.
Justin Howard-Sneyd MW Big, ripe nose showing deep sweet kirsch and strawberry jam notes. Some oak vanilla too, and the sweet oak supports some tasty, ripe fruit aromas showing great concentration of ripe fruit. Nice spice on the finish.
Andrew Jefford Refined and compelling aromas of black fruits, fine leather, soft spice and herbal freshness. Concentrated and deep, with a real Languedoc nobility. The tannins are not prolific but well-managed, supple and supportive. Classy, drinkable, very much of its place.
Frederic Marti Yummy! Rich and powerful with a great finish, a touch warming though.
Drink 2021-2025 Alcohol 14.5%