The 2012 Minervois is impressive. A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Carignan, it offers beautiful Syrah typicity with ample blackberry and plum pit-like fruits, pepper, hints of spring flowers and leather-like aromas and flavors to go with a medium-bodied, balanced and nicely textured profile that’s hard to resist. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years. Chateau de Cordes covers over 35 hectares around the village of Rustiques, which is just north of Carcassonne. Owned by the Casals family, the estate is managed by Michel Camillo, and they produce a single white and red cuvee, both of which are excellent.