Wine of the week: a sensational red from Minervois

2016 Château Maris This sensationally well-balanced wine not only challenges the greats from Minervois, but from the northern Rhône, too.

2016 Chateau Maris

2016 Chteau Maris, Les Planels, Cru La Livinire, Minervois, Languedoc, France

£17.99, 167 branches of Waitrose, waitrosecellar.com

It is often said that the La Livinire sub-region of Minervois is the finest of all. I certainly detect an energy and vibrancy to these wines that sets them apart. Of course, along with the more expressive fruit characters you often find that these wines are more structured, tannic and longer-lived. I live my wine life by the mantra that "balance is born" and so I expect the finest red wines in the world to have well-integrated tannins from the off, and they should be in perfect equilibrium with the fruit, oak, alcohol and minerality. It is a myth that tannins alone fade as a wine ages every element of the wine ages with these tannins so you rarely find that raucously tannic, young wines ever truly even out.

So let me introduce you to a sensationally well-balanced wine that not only challenges the greats from Minervois, but from the northern Rhne, too, it being made from 90% syrah and 10% grenache. Les Planels is a biodynamically grown, south-facing plot, the grapes are basket-pressed, and after a four-week maceration the must is fermented in wooden vats and then matured in 15% new oak for 12 months. This wine shows spectacular equilibrium in spite of its youth and you can drink it now or forget about it for five years! The epic clay, limestone and sandstone soils underpin an utterly thrilling pepper and blackberry-soaked palate. It is one of my wines of the year.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)

Recommended

2021 Château La Mascaronne rosé: a work of art from Provence
Wine

2021 Château La Mascaronne rosé: a work of art from Provence

This wine soars above all others with its grace, refinement and impressively long finish
17 May 2022
Bordeaux En Primeur 2021 vintage: a triumphant year
Wine

Bordeaux En Primeur 2021 vintage: a triumphant year

The Bordeaux region has produced some exquisite wines in spite of Mother Nature, says Matthew Jukes.
4 May 2022
Wine of the week: two cunning Australian blends
Wine

Wine of the week: two cunning Australian blends

Matthew Jukes tastes a pair of gorgeous Australian reds – a fruity shiraz mixed with glossy zibibbo, and a three-way combo of montepulciano, nero d’Av…
1 Apr 2022
Toasting investment success
Advertisement Feature

Toasting investment success

What is it about wine that is attracting investor interest?
21 Mar 2022

Most Popular

Get set for another debt binge as real interest rates fall
UK Economy

Get set for another debt binge as real interest rates fall

Despite the fuss about rising interest rates, they’re falling in real terms. That will blow up a wild bubble, says Matthew Lynn.
15 May 2022
High inflation will fade – here’s why
Inflation

High inflation will fade – here’s why

Many people expect high inflation to persist for a long time. But that might not be true, says Max King. Inflation may fall faster than expected – and…
13 May 2022
Is the oil market heading for a supply glut?
Oil

Is the oil market heading for a supply glut?

Many people assume that the high oil price is here to stay – and could well go higher. But we’ve been here before, says Max King. History suggests tha…
16 May 2022