Domaine Cavaillès - Minerve
These two reds have been extracted from my pick of a variety of producers tasted at the end of October 2008, during Les Grands Chemins "Rencontres en Minervois" - an annual wine, food and arts festival centred on the broodingly Mediaeval village of Minerve and surrounding area (that link goes to the website) - over dinner at the excellent Relais Chantovent restaurant in Minerve.
2005 Minervois (Syrah Grenache Carignan 13.5%) - nice ripe rounded red fruits with smoky garrigue notes; attractive depth of spicy fruit v soft tannins and a bit of punch. Good with the three-mushroom nems (Vietnamese style spring rolls). 87(+)
2007 Minervois (Syrah Grenache Carignan 13%) - similar fruit and spice to the 05 but more liquoricey and with tobacco undertones too; firmer mouth-feel v more concentrated, again attractive garrigue style and power on the finish. 89