Château Jouclary is situated about 10 km north of the ancient walled city of Carcassonne. Cabardès is a terroir on the stony slopes of the Montagne Noire, where there is a harmonious balance between the east and west. The climatic influences of the Mediterranean sun on one side and the fresher Altantic winds on the other side stamp their mark on the ripening of the grapes. It is here that both Merlot and Cabernet (Atlantic), and Syrah and Grenache (Mediterranean) grow alongside each other. Careful blending and ageing of the wines allows the vigneron to obtain the best possible balance between fruit and structure, softness and complexity, and richness and elegance.
Pascal Gianesini is the current vigneron in this family-run 60 hectare vineyard. We last shipped his wines in 2005 and when we visited him this Spring we were even more impressed by his stunning wines than before. In the current market they represent fantastic value for wines that are ready to drink now, yet with great individuality and the potential to age.
His most expensive cuvée has just been awarded a prestigious Gold Medal by Decanter magazine.
A mixed case contains 4 bottles of each of the three wines –
Château Jouclary NORE, Merlot/Syrah 2017
These vines are grown on the Pic de Nore, in the foothills of the Montagne Noire. Pascal lost 50% of his crop with the frost of 2017, and as result the yields of this wine were only 12hl/ha (normally 55hl/ha)! Normally he would bottle this as two separate wines – a Merlot and a Syrah, but due to the reduced quantities he decided to blend the two, creating a much more concentrated and interesting wine.
It is medium/deep in colour, with a gorgeous nose of mint, juniper and currants. On the palate it is very ripe and silky, bursting with flavours of blackcurrants and plums. Absolutely delicious and a complete bargain!
Château Jouclary Cuvée Tradition 2016
This is a blend of 30% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Deeper in colour there is a perfumed nose of blackcurrants and mint, while on the palate it is another fabulously silky wine with delightful, ripe blackcurrant fruit. It displays great concentration and balance, with a hint of minerality at the finish.
Another very approachable wine with very soft tannins, and the potential to age for a couple of years.
Château Jouclary Les Amandiers 2016
The blend of Les Amandiers differs with 50% Merlot, 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache, which is aged in 2-year old oak barrels for 12 months. There are hints of the cigar box on the nose, and this leads into a suppler, more concentrated wine with blackberry flavours and subtle hints of woodsmoke. It finishes long with a hint of liquorice. A more complex wine it will go beautifully with lamb or beef.
It is so fruity that it is a joy to drink now, but it will age well over the next couple of years.