2014 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Le Chateau d'Albas" Minervois SKU #1305913


DC 90
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Situated to the east of the walled city of Carcassonne and in the shadow of the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) lies Minervois. The village of Laure-Minervois is home to the winery Chateau Saint Jacques d'Albas, a 90 hectare estate in the hills above the village. Some 26 hectares of the estate are planted to vines with the rest composed of forests and creeks acting as a natural barrier to their neighbors. At the winery, a small team led by owner Graham Nutter, craft superb reds, whites and rosés, all of which are farmed organically. The "Le Chateau" is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that spends about 12 months in oak about 20% new. It has a rich palate loaded with red and black fruit flavors rounded out by supple tannins.

Staff Reviews

  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    70% Syrah 30% Grenache from a very cool region of France (Google Minervois photos; it is beautiful). The nose on this wine instantly boasts it's uniqueness: for true soda fans, it has a root beer/cherry cola undertone! Despite being largely Syrah, the wine has a lifted freshness to it to appease lovers of either lighter or bolder Syrahs. Think Thanksgiving meal...
  • Thomas Smith
    By: Thomas Smith
    K&L Staff Member
    I've had the good fortune to try 2014 on a number of occasions now and I continue to find myself totally stunned by the quality. Beautiful aromatics of black pepper and spice with just a hint of beautifully integrated oak, finishing with garrigue--the kind you only get from Languedoc wines. Looking at the varieties, I'm so surprised by the weight and body on the palate. It's light, fresh, and acid-driven in a way will kill with a good meal. Fresher and more acidic than blends from the Southern Rhone, and more interesting and complex than new-world blends, its a consummate reminder that Minervois produces exceptional wines that deserve a place at the table.
  • Sharon Kelly
    By: Sharon Kelly
    K&L Staff Member
    I fell in love with the last vintage of this wine, which was a 50-50 split of Syrah and Grenache. This time the Syrah is a bit higher at 70% and contributes a touch more of those savory, peppery characteristics that seduced me last year. On top of this, beautiful red fruit, bright acidity and overall smoothness has lured me in once again.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    The d'Albas team led by Graham Nutter has been doing some terrific things with this beautiful estate in Minervois. Nutter retired from the finance grind in London and fled to the small hamlet of Laure-Minervois. Of course he is a dedicated worker and upon finding this estate began his second career restoring the property and renovating the winery and castle. Some replanting took place, organic farming became the mainstay and Syrah (one of Graham's favorite grapes) took the lead position. The "Chateau" bottling is the winery's namesake wine representing the quality of the Minervois appellation. The wine has a gorgeous nose of potpourri, dried tobacco and black cherries. It is saturated and mouthfilling but never heavy or clumsy. Great acid structure and balance, it finishes long giving you the sense that you are drinking a wine valued at twice the price. The "Chateau" wine is one of my favorite Rhone-styled values at the moment representing the synergy that Grenache and Syrah can have when handled with a deft and dedicated hand.


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