Noelle Starr Staff Selection • Spring 2017French wines can be tricky. Price, bottle age, and personal expectation all play into what often becomes either a disappointing wine experience or a great one that costs so much that your budget won't allow you to repeat it. But once in a while you find a gem. The Domaine du Somail "Le Vin de Plume" from Minervois was part of a recent staff tasting we conducted of French wines to consider for our shelves. This was a revelation. Made from mostly Mourvedre with some Syrah blended in, the nose presented every berry I could think of, followed by flecks of tar and earth. I kept writing "old world" over and over in my notes. The palate was dark. Black fruit, black licorice, black olive with an intensity that started the minute it hit my tongue and lasted all the way through the finish. Tempering all of this darkness was aspecific, defined prettiness that made this wine one of my favorites in recent memory.
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