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Spicy Notes

With the hundreds of wine terms out there, one that constantly comes up is spiciness. The term lumps together many pungent aromas, like pepper, clove, eucalyptus, fennel, cinnamon, aniseed and more. Where does it come from? Well, the spice speaks to the terroir, the characteristic of the grape varietal or is imparted from the oak influences. Below enjoy some wines that showcase spice in various ways. Taste and see if you get the same spicy notes as Andreas Larsson.  Abbotts & Delaunay – Cumulo Nimbus 2012 France – Languedoc/Roussillon – Minervois – Syrah Carignan Grenache
86 Points
“The palate has medium weight, quite high acidity, and the fruit character is again rather dried, like prunes, dates, figs; then we add some sweet spices to that, a hint of leather, and again the spice box.”


Bodegas Lan – Culmen 2010 Spain – Rioja – Reserva
90 Points
“Dense and concentrated palate. Nicely structured, it has a fairly good extract but pretty well melted into the wine at this stage. We still feel some of that roasted oak, and then we have layers of that dark fruitiness, dark plum, dark berries; there’s some aniseed, sage.”


Jean d’Alibert – Syrah Grenache 2014 France – Languedoc/Roussillon – Minervois
84 Points
“Medium body, quite soft on the finish, with medium-long aftertaste, with some notes of gentle spices, a slight hint of pepperiness, and some juicy plum notes. An attractive, clean, and well-made wine.”


Cave De Roquebrun – Les Fiefs d’Aupenac 2013 France – Languedoc/Roussillon – Saint-Chinian – Roquebrun
90 Points
“I would call this meaty with sweet spices like clove, black pepper, and those lovely ripe dark black berries; it raises my mind very much to ripe Syrah. Good density of fruit, fine concentration, keeps lingering on the palate, definitely a long aftertaste. Still a bit younger on the palate than on the nose, that I found complex, but certainly a well-balanced wine that will develop very nicely over the coming years.”


Bock Winery – Bock Cuvée 2011 Hungary – Villányi – Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot
89 Points
“Intense nose here, showing off a lot of ripeness, a wealth of dark berry plum cassis, spices like aniseed, a hint of dill, a small hint of oak, and a quite sweet fruity character.”


Mount Hevron – Reserve Syrah 2009 Israel – Judean Hills
91 Points
“We have quite fine tannins here, we have a good level of acidity, giving a lift to that almost inky dark black peppery fruit with notes of cassis, spicy and peppery. I would say that the oak is nicely integrated. We have a good length as well, certainly at least long towards very long.”


Mezzacorona – Nos – Riserva 2007 Italy – Trentino – Teroldego Rotaliano
91 Points
“Very very persistent on the palate, great length, finely integrated wood, and a slight amount of herbal spiciness adding freshness, just like some fresh sage and bay leaf. Very persistent. I would still call this a young wine, but with a potential to age for many years. Really, really fine.”

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