St Chinian and Faugeres: panel tasting results
Château Viranel, St-Chinian 2011
Decanter average score: 18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Rosemary George MW 18.5 AJ 18.5 ST 18.5
Château Viranel is one of the oldest estates of St-Chinian and has belonged to the Bergasse family since 1551. Georges Viranel bottled his first wine in 1986 and now it is his two sons, Arnaud and Nicolas, who run the estate. They have 38ha of vines, including 18ha of St-Chinian, in the garrigues outside the village of Cessenon. They favour a subtle use of older barrels and délestage for a gentle extraction of tannin and flavour.
Rosemary George MW A lovely deep colour. Quite a solid, dense nose, with some spice. A rounded, full-bodied palate. Quite ripe and rich, with a streak of tannin. Nicely textured with layers of flavours. Southern warmth, a long finish.
Andrew Jefford Glossy, saturated black-red. Sweet, warm, svelte aromas of black fruits and subtle spices. A lush, rich, voluptuous and nonetheless intellectually satisfying palate, packed with sweet, velvety fruits qualified by crushed stone and perfumer’s spices. Magnificent, compelling wine of place: bravo!
Simon Taylor Lots of vigour. Fleshy, with a gush of red and black cherries. Then a hit of pepper. Very meaty and substantial. Bring on the wild-boar sausages.
Price £10.99 (2010) Cambridge Wine Merchants