Discovering a new wine in the Rhŏne section of our wine store is always a delight, especially when it A) has a price tag listing under fifteen dollars and B) has a solid score of “91” listed by some wine reviewer with some opinion. It’s amazing when those wines live up to their scores, such as this Puydeval has. Otherwise you shouldn’t take that as a testament to these scores on the web, in your stores, from your neighbor, from any man named Amory; the loquacious type who talks highly about his supposed wine cellar.
62% Cabernet Franc, 28% Syrah and 10% Merlot are the grapes, a trio of taut and dark, sweet but firm. Hailing from the Vin Des Pays regulation, which is less restrictive than the French’s AOC, the winemaker is able to have more freedom with which grapes are integrated together. Not that a franc, syrah and merlot mixture is outlandish, it’s just that it wouldn’t fly with AOC regulations due to the combination and the fact that the Puydeval uses grapes from a wider region than, say, a single chateaux with a high pedigree to its name.
When drinking we noticed the wine was very dark. True and taut as it was, it struck us as odd seeing as how Cabernet Franc is most known as a light, herby and mellow grape. Seeing as how it was the predominate grape, we were sure that we would be experiencing a straight forward, even boring, but warming wine. But it is unwise to underestimate the power of syrah; and my appreciation for it grows still. The syrah finds a way of predominating the palette in the only way a true syrah can, by providing a filling, punchy and aromatically interesting suaveness throughout the bottle’s drinking life. Merlot is present, instead of being a cloaked name-stay that it usually is diluted into being; and it is still, quite delicate in the front and back. You almost yearn for more of it.
Puydeval 2009, Vin de Pays – $14
– Grandly dark in the glass with a pink-hued, fruit juice rim.
– You’ll cough at first if you get right up in there, very alcohol forward. Once you become accustomed you will be introduced to its lively and aromatic berry garden flourish. It’s sweet and will remind you of a lightly sugared berry pie.
– Chunky and bold, front and center. Mellow in the back, true enough in the middle of your cheek. There’s a distinct lack of elegance, because this is a young wine that has little future ahead of it, I fear. But the Puydeval remains toasty, warm and pleasing.
Overall: Worthy. A great sipper that will hold up to most foods, save for clams, which I have been told recently clash with all wines. Another note is that this is one of the rare wines that actually brightened my sense of the cheese we ate, a six month aged manchego.
Quote of The Evening:
[with a violent shake of the fist, a la Captain Kirk in Star Trek IV]