2017 Domaine du Somail "Vin de Plume" Minervois

SKU #1420573 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Mostly Mourvèdre (80%), with 20% Syrah, the 2017 Minervois le Vin de Plume offers intriguing aromas of dried spices, garrigue, even something floral that approaches lilacs in character. In the mouth, the wine delivers mixed berries, herbs and spices, a medium to full-bodied palate, ample concentration and a long, dusty finish. It's one of the more interesting wines I tasted from Minervois this year. (JC)  (5/2019)

K&L Notes

Domaine du Somail lies in the eastern part of Minervois nestled in the slopes of the Montagne Noir. The primarily limestone and clay soils provide the perfect environment for this 80% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah blend. Farming biodynamically, soon to be Demeter certified, all grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in concrete tanks. Maturation is done in primraily used barrique and bottled with minimal SO2. The "Vin de Plume" captures the essence of the rustic region with its notes of spice, garrigue and black fruit. A great pairing for charcuterie and grilled meats. *Natural Wine, Biodynamic*

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Price: $14.99

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By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2019 | Send Email
If you happen to be in the quaint canal village of Le Somail you might need to seek some shade, so why not visit the private Hat Museum, a place straight out of Dr. Seuss, where you curious cats can admire over 6000 hats from every era and around the world. Afterwards, a stroll to a quayside cafe where you can plop down with a bottle of this glistening red wine, redolent with blackberries, leather, earth notes and a scent of herbs, a beautiful evocation of rustic Minervois fruit, mostly Mourvedre, with Syrah to add ever more nuance to the blend. I'll finish by saying "Hat's off!" to a truly marvelous wine.

By: Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
Need a 'Clean' wine? This super value wine is bio-dynamic and Demeter certified which basically means is kicks butt. Being of 80% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah this wine is huge! 'Plume' in French means pen but like a fountain pen or it could mean feather, but anyway! This wine definitely resembles the ink that would fill your scribing tool and may give you enough courage to write deep into the night! Beautifully perfumed of dark chocolate and blackberries with blueberry friends and a lovely spice that isn't overly greedy. For any biodynamic wine at $15 I would say it is a steal for just the shear work that is involved but a steal that tastes good too! Come on!

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
The 2015 "Vin de Plume" was one of our sleeper hits of last year. It was a brambly, meaty red with lots of peppery spice and black fruit. It was great to check in again with Domaine du Somail and taste their new release. All that delicious garrigue, spice and smoky meatiness is present. The main difference... finer tannins and a bit more fruit ripeness. I equated the last vintage to a Baby Bandol and that holds true here as well. It offers up that rustic rich edge that is famous for southern French Mourvedre based wines. The main distinction here is it's only $15, where a similarly profiled Bandol would cost you twice that price. This is my new go-to red for summer barbecues from a simple mixed grill to a rotisseried leg of lamb.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
You really don’t find wines that push the envelope on breadth and power like this anywhere near $15. Meaty as all hell. There’s iron, blood and brambles all within a cloak of deep, black fruit.. Despite its dark character, beneath there is a rawness, a freshness, almost wild aspect to this Minervois. There’s plenty of big fruit on the palate that are offset with very well integrated tannin. The acidity brightens up the fruit and brings it into balance. Incredibly compelling, totally delicious, an easy pick for a tasty and distinctive from one of France’s best offbeat wine regions.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2019 | Send Email
The nose is fresh, bold, berry like fruit yet no sweetish aromatics and is intriguing for that. On the palate the 80% Mouvedre drives the wine, depth, weight but not flabby, it’s focused and shows lift and a little tannin from the 20% Syrah. The flavors are dark berry but once again not sweet at all, I find it surprising but more interesting than the sweet version. Fairly full bodied but fresh and balanced more lift than I would have expected. I like this wine a lot to drink now over the next couple of years with a rich pasta like lasagna or a butter basted filet mignon.

Additional Information:



- Also called Monastrell and Mataro, Mourvèdre is most famous for the ruby-hued wines of Provence's Bandol region, known for their spicy, gamey, blackberry character, though the grape is grown throughout Provence and the Southern Rhône. Thought to have originated in Spain, it is second only to Grenache in vine acres, with the best examples found in Rioja, Alicante and Penedès.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


Alcohol Content (%): 13