2015 Le Chat Noir Aude Valley Shiraz
Cracka Value Rating
Sourcing: The Aude Valley, stretching between Carcassonne and the Pyrenees in extreme south of France is similar in climate and limestone soil to the Loire Valley. The high altitude and cooling evening breezes creates wines with varietal character, acidity and freshness.
Winemaking: Totally de-stemmed and co-fermented with a long, cool maceration with regular pumping over and cap plunging. Maturation is primarily in stainless steel with roughly one third undergoes carbonic maceration aiding aromatics and fruit expression. A further third receives six month maturation in French oak barrels for greater complexity.
2015 Vintage: As in much of Europe, 2015 was an outstanding vintage in the south of France. Winter and spring were very wet, ensuring excellent soil moisture levels before a hot, dry summer followed ensuring good growth and healthy vineyards. A moderate but clear autumn ensured steady ripening and the cool nights courtesy of the clear skies allowed the retention of freshness and natural acidity. Yields were a touch low, the wines are fantastic with lovely aromatics, excellent depth of flavour and vibrant acidity.
Tasting notes: Beautifully perfumed with aromas of dark berries, plum, sweet spice and hints of forest bramble. The palate is rich and supple with a core of ripe and naturally sweet berried fruit flavours. The fruit is framed by light spice and fine tannins before an impressively detailed finish. Whilst this wine will gain character and complexity with cellaring it is very drinkable now.