Much like McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley, Pyrenees reds tend to bare a strong stamp of regional influence that's hard to ignore (concentrated dark fruits, firm tannins and eucalyptus notes instantly come to mind). In paying respect to that, the team at Mitchell Harris have taken a deliberately simple and rustic approach to their first sangiovese (gentle crushing and de-stemming, 8 year old French oak maturation), just to see what the Pyrenees style is all about.
Happily rustic within its winemaker's intentions, the 2010 Mitchell Harris Sangiovese shows an air of savoury quality above its black cherry and currant fruit base. A sly, regional whiff of dry leaf resides without dominating, as it's equally matched by a gentle note of dry spice, expressed in a savoury, twiggy kind of way. There's a commendable litheness to the palate, which shows elements of both regional and varietal influence, however, with time, its place of origin speaks ever so clear. It competently captures the lighter, more supple aspects of sangiovese, merging a dry, dark and savoury taste of black cherries underlined by ripe, juicy fruits into a nuttier finish marked by notes of bay leaf and a curling lick of well controlled, chalky tannins. Its tight structural outline provides much needed discipline, clicking everything into place nicely.
ü A typically ripe, dry and dark fruited Pyrenees red, which shows the region might actually be able to pull off some of the lighter styles (in its own way of course). As ever, the methodical winemaking of John Harris has helped paint a clear picture here. Drink to 2016.