Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Marselan is a relatively recent crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache which was authorised for Vin de Pays in 1990. It was developed specifically for the Languedoc and copes well with both wet and dry conditions and is resistant to fungal diseases. It also produces good colour which is sometimes lacking in Grenache.
There are smatterings of Marselan throughout the Languedoc and I have tasted maybe 10 examples. Most of those have been unimpressive (and a couple downright horrid!) and the best by far is from Chateau de Complazens in La Clape. Susan and Peter Close have 5 hectares of Marselan and are so convinced by the quality of the grape that they are lobbying to have it authorised for the production of AOC Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape. It is currently a Vin de Pays d'Oc and the 2007 vintage was deep coloured with attractive black fruit with a spicy (slightly hard) edge and ripe, supple tannins. A pleasant everyday drinking wine.
Yes it was a very good example of Marselan but it's not my favourite of the Complazens wines. I prefer their Syrah (again vin de pays) which is full of intense, creamy black fruit balanced by grippy but ripe tannins. A classy wine. They also do a simply fruity Grenache which has oodles of simple cherry fruit and soft tannins. Up a notch in quality and price is the Complazens premium 2006 which is blend of 75% Syrah with Grenache. It has excellent concentration of dark plum and blackcurrant fruit with well balanced oak. Ripe smooth tannins and a long finish. Still very young - ideally keep for another year.