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01 January 2009

Languedoc: Château Grand Moulin, Corbières

Château Grand Moulin

Jean-Noel Bousquet relocated his winery to the Lézignan ring road, after his cellar collapsed before his eyes during the incredible floods the area was subjected to in winter 1999. However, he took it as a good opportunity to rebuild and remodel things to suit a shift in growing and winemaking philosophy, plus incorporate a smart new tasting reception area and shop. The estate has now expanded beyond 100 ha (250 acres) in size, some of which is 
classified as Corbières-Boutenac AOC (a fairly recent sub-appellation centred on the village of Boutenac, about half-an-hour southwest of Narbonne, and also home to the Corbières police force... I mean, appellation authorities) starting with the 2005 vintage.

These wines were sampled February-March 06:
2001 Corbières
 Terres Rouges (Syrah, Grenache & Carignan, 13.5%) - a little closed and awkward on the nose, yet shows spicy lightly earthy black cherry/currant fruit with perfumed oak overtones; powerful, tight mouthful of smoky black fruits and chocolate vanilla then firm/tart, dry and long finish. Needs time as the oak and acidity/tannins are a bit out of kilter at the moment, but it should blossom in 2-5 years. 89-91
 Terres Rouges (12.5%) - lovely developed smoky nose, liquorice and spice, ripe raisiny black cherry fruit with tobacco notes; soft elegant palate set against remaining dry grip and attractive long finish. 91-93
1998 Corbières Vieilles Vignes (12.5%) - mature intricate aromas, savoury raisins and prunes with leather undertones; supple refined palate, nice depth of 'sweet' fruit v light dry tannin backdrop. Drinking now yet should reward from a couple more years ageing.90-922001 Vieilles Vignes (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan & Mourvèdre) - complex smoky nose, appealing liquorice and prune fruit; soft tannins layered with well handled oak, elegant dry finish with ripe fruits lingering too. 88-90
2005 La Tour rosé (CinsaultSyrah, Grenache & Mourvèdre, 13%) - fresh and crisp style: very lively tangy red fruits showing good extract v elegance and juiciness, zesty and long. 87
2002 Corbières blanc, fermenté et élevé en futs (Grenache BlancVermentino & Macabeu) - toasty, oily and oxidising nose leads to milky yeasty weight and tanginess, rich palate finishing quite fat although there's still some fresh acidity underneath; quite good if you like this oaky style. 84

Grand Moulin update November 2008-January 2009

2007 La Tour 
Corbières rosé (13%) - nice dry and full style with creamy red fruit palate, quite elegant yet big enough to go with many different dishes. €4.60 85+
2007 La Tour 
Corbières white - citrus and honey aromas, floral notes on a rounded v crisp palate, appealing style. €5.20 85+
La Tour Corbières red - fragrant black cherry and cassis with light vanilla and liquorice edges; attractive fruity mouth-feel and style with dry bite to finish. €5.20 85-87
2005 Vieilles Vignes 
Corbières red - richer with a tad of chocolate oak showing, quite concentrated dark fruit cocktail with chocolate texture, firm and powerful yet well-balanced. Good value too at €6.90. 88-90
 Terres Rouges Corbières red - smokier with wild herbs, liquorice and plum notes; solid mouth-feel with fair muscle, concentration and length; again well-balanced with nice, understated coco oak texture and subtle grip. €9.80 89-91
Corbières-Boutenac red (14.5%) - more coconutty new oak on the nose but it has lush smoky dark fruits too, firm solid texture and punch; tasty and promising, closes up on the finish. Dear though at €14.50. 90+

6 Boulevard Maréchal Galliéni (RN113), 11200 Lézignan-Corbières. Tel: 04 68 27 40 80, contact@chateau-grand-moulin.com / chateaugrandmoulin@wanadoo.frwww.chateau-grand-moulin.com.

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