A tasty sample of Moroccan wine

In July I was able to experience the summer in Morocco (it’s damned hot), Ramadan (everything is closed and people are really tired), and the wines which you can see a much large profile of, here.

When leaving, the winery manager of Les Celliers de Meknès, Farid Ouissa, gave me a few samples to try once back in Spain so that I could have an idea what they’re doing down there. Like I said, everything was well-made, the only problem is that the wines were overall lacking any typicity in that they emulated the styles of more well-known and famous French regions. This isn’t a crime as pretty most every region that isn’t France has at one point done the same with varying levels of success. But, it always comes down to the fact that you ultimately need to show what it is that is special and unique to your region if you want to jump up to the next level.

As it sits though, here are four wines of widely different style that present a pretty good sample of what one can expect there as it’s supposedly all tourists who drink the millions of bottles consumed in this Muslim country (winky, wink.)

La Perle du Sud 2010
Light brioche, lime peel, cream. Balanced, lightly sweet in the mouth, smooth. Fresh with acidity at medium plus. A young, pleasing interpretation of classic Champagne.

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir 12% 9€

Thalvin S de Saroua 2011
Bacon, minerality, cloves, black pepper, sweet spice. Round in the mouth, more pepper, surprisingly fresh, clean, red fruits, lingering finish. Good profile overall but lacking profundity while it ultimately strives for a profile of Côte Rotie.

100% Syrah 14.5% 15€

Tandem 2012
The more well-known Moroccan wine by Alain Graillot from Croze-Hermitage. Very mineral and fresh, spicy with black pepper, limestone, and dark berries. Very balanced in the mouth and is a pure expression of Syrah that’s elegant and profound with lingering spice in the finish although it naturally holds all the marks of a wine similar to what Alain makes back home.

100% Syrah 13.5% 15€

Chateau Roslan 2011
AOP Coteaux de l’Atlas that’s just bursting with Cab Sauvignon notes of red bellpepper, licorice and a touch of mint. In the mouth it’s a touch too pronounced and the acidity tastes more like what you find in Left Bank Bordeaux’s younger offerings in the non-Cru wineries.

Cab Sauvignon, Merlot 13.5% 20€