Given how familiar we are with Mas de Libian's wines at Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche, this 2019 Bout d'Zan was a real surprise. A deep ruby-purplish red in colour, this Grenache-Syrah blend exhibited strong notes of plums, macerated ripe dark fruits, warm spice and almost port-like in many ways, prompting us to take a good look its alcohol level - a whopping 14.5% a.b.v., the wine wasn't quite balanced without a strong acidity backbone and unfortunately, its finish was also a tad short. Quite a departure from what they usually produce for this cuvée, we can't help but wonder if a new generation of winemakers there actually tried something different in 2019? A pity really, as this wine usually breathes lightness amidst its luscious red & blue fruits, that works beautifully with some black olives tapenade and thin-crust pizzas, especially those layered with salty anchovies marinated in oil. We reckon we shall find out when we can travel to that part of the world again!
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