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The depth of richness to the Montagnes' 2009 Cotes du Roussillon Clos del Rey - only released in 2013, as they always practice long elevage followed by bottle-aging in their cellars - is predictable given the nature of that vintage and this father-son team's track record. What takes me by delightful surprise are the fine grain to its abundant tannins and the lift and brightness as well as the counterpoint of mineral and fruit elements that are here allied to almost massive density and concentration. A pungent nose of poached cherries laced with licorice, rosemary, black pepper and a hint of vanilla leads to an expansive palate and a finish of tongue-tingling intensity, mouthwatering salinity, schist-licking stoniness, and peppery bite that vividly sets-off the plush, ripe, yet vibrant fruit. This beauty should prove worth following through at least 2025. And one again, incidentally, it illustrates the versatility and adaptability - to site, to style, and to one another - of the grapes grown in Roussillon, as here we have roughly 60% Carignan and the rest Syrah.
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