Amethyste is one of my favorite wines, a tribute to old vine Cinsault by an extraordinary vigneronne, Dominique Hauvette. There, in her biodynamically farmed domaine, she shows how beautiful this grape can be... For me this is the closest wine in France to Emmanuel Reynaud's wines (Rayas, Pignan, Fonsalette, Tours), these Grenache tasting like Grands Crus Burgundy by the Mediterranean. But here you are, with her old Cinsault grown on limestone. Dominique reaches this level of harmony and balance! To go along with the delicacy of that grape, she uses a little bit of Carignan for the tension, and a touch of Grenache, from the older vines she has. The result is a pure gem of a bottle, in every vintage, with a consistency of quality remarkable since the late 00s. All the grapes are destemmed and the wine is aged in cement eggs. Unfortunately, as the old vines Cinsault are giving less and less, the cuvée will evole slowly towards less of this magical backbone. You still had some in 2015 and 2016!
In 2015, a solar vintage, the nose starts on the Cinsault and Grenache, combining some crushed wild strawberry, dried hibiscus, orange zest, iris root and oriental spices. The palate has a fake delicacy: it seems very tender with its tannins remarkably gentle but you have a real power under it! A lot of dry extract, the boost of the Carignan in the mid-palate, and the finish, caressing, lingering, revealing how Cinsault can be a complex grape. A little bit more on the plum and the dark berry on the palate. What a wine, a paradox on its own, incredibly easy to drink but so complex - it is really like Thierry Navarre's Oeillade meets Emmanuel Reynaud's Pignan! Serve it decanted, not too warm, in Burgundy glass, and enjoy it with a beautiful cut of meat, or even with a grilled red mullet, black olive reduction and confit tomato. 60% Cinsault, 30% Carignan, 10% Grenache. Pascaline Lepeltier.
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