Sommelier note: This fine family domaine has been making wine here in the Saint-Chinian appellation for many generations now. A very good example how succession in the family can work beautifully in the bottle. Saint-Chinian has a very complex ‘Terroir’, but is dominated by two main soil types: schiste (slate) on one part and clay/limestone on the other. Domaine des Jougla has their vineyards on both types so this gives diversity. All the vines are situated within the ‘garrigue’ , the mix of aromatic vegetation containing pine trees, oak, and herbs like rosemary, wild fennel and thyme. A big part of the aromas come from this complex vegetation! Laurence Jougla is responsible for the vinification. Another Leading Lady of the Languedoc.
Initiale Red is a classic blend you find here in Saint-Chinian of Syrah, Grenache Noir, Carignan and Mourvèdre. All these Mediterranean grapes do well in this hot and dry climate. The different terroir and sun exposure of each of the Jougla parcels of land produces variety in the fruits which results in complexity in the flavours of the wine.
All the varietals will speak to you in the glass: Syrah gives spiciness and black pepper; Grenache Noir rich, soft fruits; Carignan a rustic leather tone; and Mourvèdre tobacco and chocolate. Together the result is a wine which starts fruity (sweet cherry, blueberry) followed by spices and herbs and ends a bit toasty with nice, full tannins.
Drink this wine anytime with good friends and good food: cold cuts, hard cheeses, barbeque. Forget room-temperature: serve this wine 57-60 degrees Fahrenheit/14-16 degrees Celsius, slightly chilled it makes your meal wonderful.