Chateau Azuzias Instinct Terrien 2017, AC Cabardes
This little-known appellation of Cabardès made it into the Decanter World Wine Awards 'Best in Show' selection in London in spring 2018. Now the AOP has done it again, with yet another outstanding effort, this time impressing some other Asian judges. This blend of 60% Cabernet Franc with 30% Syrah and 10% Grenache is saturatedly black-red. It gives a surrenderingly fresh first nose with floral aromas backed by enticing black raspberry and mulberry fruits. Medium deep colour with a purple hue point to quality freshness, then on the second nose, the new nose of freshly crushed berries, mild spices and gentle oak.
Soft, supple and juicy palate with some garrigue notes, crisp red fruit and medium length are on the first attack. Behold, there are impressive edging tannins with lingering spices on the second. The wine is deep yet full of lively charm on the palate, perfectly summarising the 'crossover' appeal of this appellation, which lies halfway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Fine-grained tannins from Cabernet Franc and lacy, billowing acidity carry that raspberry/mulberry fruit to a fresh, graceful finish. Cabernet Franc fans should seek it out. Drink 2018-2026 referencing Decanter, who awarded it a whooping 98 Points.
Drink chilled, like in the range of 14 Celcius, to arrest the ABV, strengthen the acidity and tannic structure from Grenache and Syrah. Drink straight, no aeration needed.