Style: an intense complex nose of dark fruit enhanced by spice and liquorice. Clean attack, then evolving into something rich, dense and rounded on the palate. Long, mineral finish. Silky, fine-grained tannins.
Origin: selection of old sélection massale vines (i.e. grown from cuttings from the same vineyard), planted in south/southeastfacing hillside terraces. “Les Serines” is not a district; it refers to the local name for Syrah.
Soil: granitic, shallow.
Viticulture : high-density planting (8,000-10,000 vines per hectare). No insecticides or pesticides, few treatments (depending on weather), small amount of organic-only fertiliser, with respect of soil and vine balance. Vigour and yield control, leaf-thinning and green harvesting to promote grape maturation.
Vinification: the grapes are hand-picked; and then sorted, crushed and partially destemmed in the cellar. Fermented in open, temperature-controlled vats for about 3 weeks, with regular cap-punching and pumping-over. Malolactic-fermented in barriques with native yeasts.
Maturing: 18 months in barriques.
Ageing: wine made for laying down; slightly hard when young. Best to wait 4-5 years, but it can also age 15 years or more.
Pairing: red meats (e.g. barbecued skewers of duck breast marinated with sesame seeds).