2011 Domaine Ameztia, Irouleguy, Basque Pyrenees, France.
Made by Jean-Louis Costera, a shepherd/farmer/winemaker, this stylish Basque red blend of 90% Tannat and 10% Cabernet Franc comes from the calcareous and clay soils on the northern slopes side of the French Pyrenees mountains from the Irouleguy region. This remote and wild area of France produces hearty and robust reds, these are quintessential county wines with rustic charms and great with the native cuisine. Domaine Ameztia is one of the finest and precise hand crafted Iroulguy wines and the lovely pure 2011 highlights the producers gentile touch, the cooler than normal vintage and the finesse the Cabernet Franc adds to the fiery tannic Tannat making for an interesting and dark expression of terroir and tradition in the glass. The 2011 Ameztia, fermented in stainless and aged in neutral wood shows wild game, mint, violets and porcini/truffle earthy notes leading to a medium/full palate of blackberry, damson plum, cherry and dusty raspberry fruits with iron, lavender, bell pepper and cedary spices. There are some good grippy tannins that make there presence felt, but they do not seems harsh, but would be best to enjoy this red with some proteins (lamb, steak or sheep cheeses) no question, though for Irouleguy, this is refined and polished, drink from 2014 to 2019.
($28 Est.) 91+ Points, grapelive
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