Viranel Trilogie - Saint-Chinian
France - Languedoc
REGION: Herault, France
VARIETIES: Syrah, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Franc
Viranel is a proper Jaded Palates producer: a small, family vineyard making great-tasting, fresh, vibrant wines from indigenous grapes. And Alicante Bouschet is the unheralded star in this blend. Planted here in 1939, these are seriously old vines, which is what makes all the difference. It is a very unfashionable grape, but unusual in being just about the only variety in existence with red flesh as well as skin (all other grapes, even red ones, have clear flesh). It also produces huge volumes of grapes when young. This makes it a favourite of big cooperatives looking for colour and lots of juice. Older vines, though, produce something quite lovely.