After a pleasant experience with Domaine Rimbert’s Saint-Chinian, I decided to explore this appellation a bit further with a recommendation by my friend Arnaud of the French la terre vue du vin wine blog.
Thierry Navarre is a biodynamic producer in the Languedoc‘s Saint-Chinian appellation. This AOC is further divided into two sub-sectors on the northern end, both of which have been recently approved for the CIVL’s upcoming “Grand Cru du Languedoc” label: Berlou and Roquebrun. While Domaine Rimbert is located in the former, Thierry Navarre makes wine in the latter. Both feature slate soil and the traditional Languedoc grape varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan..)
Domaine Navarre 2007 “les Oliviers”
I decanted the wine 3 hours before dinner. At first, this ripe red struck me with its lively acidity and slightly animal aromas. I was hoping this would blow off, and it more or less did, although a noticeable musky note did remain on the finish. I don’t really like the dirty sock analogy, but it did have a bit of that going. The fruit as well as some dark licorice stood out overall however, and it was quite an experience in a powerful, rustic way.
Towards the end of the bottle however, another enticing aroma started to emerge. It brought me back to my childhood, rummaging through the spice cabinet and sniffing from several small tin boxes with Persian motifs, each containing different varieties of dried tea leaves. I’m not sure my family ever even used them, considering that they remained there for decades, but the strong scents definitely had some mystical hold on me as I would keep sneaking in to smell them, and I still remember them to this day. This Saint-Chinian reminded me of some of the darker colored leaves, but I would have no clue as to what they were. I’m just glad the wine brought this memory back!