Our friend, Bordeaux negociant Jeff Davies, introduced us to this wine several years ago, and it seems to be getting better and better. We tried this Syrah in September 2011 and couldn't believe how concentrated and incredibly intense it was. Forget the appellation and prepare yourself for an amazing treat! Here's what Robert Parker posted about this wine several months ago..."While I was in Bordeaux, I tasted the new releases from Négly, the micro-estate in the Languedoc owned by Bordeaux wine broker Jeffrey Davies... the wine is made by Claude Gros, an increasingly influential consultant... I have been purchasing these wines since the debut vintages in the late 90s... it is not a leap of faith to say that they are probably among the finest 4-6 red wines made in the Languedoc... have been itching to taste the 2007s (a great vintage in the southern Rhone and the Languedoc)... and they are finally arriving... expensive they are, but in the pantheon of great wines, the prices are very reasonable... both the Porte de Ciel and Clos des Truffiers are 100% Syrah... I actually thought the Porte de Ciel was close to pure perfection... more developed and less broodingly backward compared to the Clos des Truffiers, the blackberry, lavender, bacon fat, and subtle smoky nuances are intense and enthralling. Both wines are very full-bodied, ...but the primary difference is the Clos des Truffiers needs 4-5 years of cellaring.. the Porte de Ciel will evolve for 20+ years, but it is so gorgeous to drink already... anyhow... I always say as I get older, I like them younger and younger... so many of you may prefer to wait on both of them... they are thrilling wines... real reference points for what the Languedoc is capable of achieving... the 1997s, which I own, are still very young wines..."
Although winemaker Brigitte Chevalier got her start with Bordeaux dynamo Jean-Luc Thunevin, her real life as a vintner began when she left Bordeaux to make what she describes as the “perfect wine” – one with big, bold fruit, smooth velvety tannins, and elegant complexity. With the 2010 Saint Martin d’Agel, made at her own Domaine de Cébène, located on the sunny hills of Faugères, she believes she has succeeded – at a very fair price. Made from a Rhone-style blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignane and Mourvèdre, this easy-drinking red offers soft ripe cherry and cassis fruit, heaped over the firm, tannic backbone of the excellent 2010 vintage. Drink now and over the next 2 to 3 years.