The Algeria Connection
Algeria was once a part of the French Empire, and a lot of wine was grown there. When the country declared its independence, most of the winemakers headed to France. Jean-Guy Lavau was one of those emigres. He and his wife Anne-Marie took charge of a wine cellar near Chateauneuf du Pape in the tiny town of Sablet.
Their winery, Maison Lavau, has thrived. They recently purchased vineyards in the nearby village of Rasteau. This is the inaugural wine of this new project. The wine is sourced from ancient vines of Grenache and Syrah along with small amounts of Carignan, Mourvedre, and Cinsault.
This is a huge blockbuster of a wine. Aromas of forest floor fall into a huge blast of dark fruit. Cuban cigar and lavender notes drive into a deep flavor pit of licorice, chocolate, and blueberry preserves. Velvet tannins and a lush, full-body push this bottle into the stratosphere.