Chateau Maris Les Planels Syrah 2017
A bouquet of aromas already complex with some notes of sautéed black cherries, black currants, licorice, pepper and cured meats. Deep purple color. Rich, full-bodied, yet elegant and seamless, with an awesome texture with integrated acidity and a beautiful elegance about it that keeps you coming back to the glass. Screaming for a hanger steak or a rack of lamb.
Blend: 95% Syrah, 5% Grenache
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Wild strawberry, mulberry, rhubarb and cinnamon on the nose. It’s medium-bodied with plush tannins. Round and layered with balance and freshness. Juicy, with a core of fruit and a flavorful finish. A blend of syrah and grenache. From biodynamically grown grapes. with Demeter certification. Drink or hold.
Mostly Grenache, the 2017 Les Planels is a sweetly fruited, plush, hedonist beauty that gives up loads of ripe red and black fruits, toasted spices, chocolate, and incense aromas and flavors. With sweet tannins, medium to full body, no hard edges, and outstanding length, it’s ideal for drinking over the coming 6-8 years.
“Who wouldn’t love this?” I wrote in my notes when tasting this blind. Everyone on our panel agreed. We were taken by its smoky bacon fragrance and meaty, plummy fruit, by its velvety texture and by the dark notes of rich earth. It may not be the most complex of Maris’s wines, but it’s glorious syrah.
Chateau Maris is the vision of Englishman Robert Eden, who emigrated to France over 20 years ago to pursue his dream of crafting wines that reflect, rather than mask the land on which the grapes are grown. Robert's approach to winemaking is based on the fundamental premise that wine is "grown", not "made".
To craft wines that reveal the true character of the land, Chateau Maris strictly adheres to biodynamics, which is in effect a supercharged system of organic farming. Similar to organic farming, biodynamics adopts a holistic approach that views the entire vineyard as a living system that is impacted by its surroundings. Biodynamics seeks to encourage vitality in the vineyard by introducing live matter into the soil through intensive composting. In addition, biodynamics places a strong emphasis on harnessing naturally occurring cycles.
The entire estate is certified Organic as well as certified Biodynamic, using homeopathic preparations instead of chemicals on its land. The cellar itself is the only building in existence constructed entirely with hemp blocks and contains no paint, no plastic, no chemicals. Thanks to the geothermal properties of hemp, the cellar has no heating nor cooling system, making the project not only energy self-sufficient but making the project one of the few carbon-negative constructions in the world.
Granted its own appellation within Minervois in the Languedoc region of France, Minervois La Livinière takes its name from cella vinaria, Latin for ‘wine cellar.’ In the hilly northern end of Minervois, the altitude and dense, rocky limestone soils of La Liviniere produce quality red Rhône Blends made from Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Carignan.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”