If you follow this blog regularly, you know how much I like Domaine Sainte Anne wines, and this is my favorite cuvee. The blend contains 50 to 60% Mourvedre, and I know from experience that it takes a special turn for the better (at least for my taste) at around 10 to 12 years of age. Now 11 years after harvest, this 1999 is just about there.
It's a medium deep ruby, still looking young, but the spicy Mourvedre nose tells me it's close to maturity. In its youth, Mourvedre has a tight, purple flower smell that becomes dramatically more expansive with maturity, yielding scents of pungent spices and old and new leather. I also smell ripe blueberries and raspberries, violets and even a hint of the vanilla that is so dominant in the Sainte Anne Cotes du Rhone. (None of the Sainte Anne wines see any new oak, so it's a different kind of vanilla aroma, probably coming from ripe stems.) In the mouth, the wine is medium bodied with a silky mouth feel. Beautiful Mourvedre spice and ripe fruit tannins lead to a long finish. The wine goes down easily but still has room to grow. I'm looking forward to visiting it again in a few months.