Home > Coteaux du Languedoc > Chateau de la Negly – La Porte du Ciel 2002

Chateau de la Negly – La Porte du Ciel 2002

a Syrah from very low yields – 15 hectoliters per hectare

I was forced to get home earlier on THU thanks to those “professionals” from UPC that left our office without an Internet connection for more than two days now. Late afternoon I visited my cellar to choose a wine for dinner. I had some duck breast in the freezer that required immediate attention. Knowing that the duck breast requires something more pretentious I chose a Syrah from the Languedoc – a wine from Chateau de la Negly. I know this producer for some time and I know their wines are just amazing, all of them.

Of the reds, La Falaise and the preponderantly Mourvedre-based l’Ancely are both serious, dense wines of satisfying complexity. The two finest wines, though, are both pure Syrah: Clos des Truffiers, made with Jeffrey Davies, comes from vineyards at St Pargeoire, whereas La Porte du Ciel is part of the Negly estate itself. Claude Gros now consults. I tasted the La Falaise 2006 and 2007 so far and both are very good wines. I prefer more the 2007. However it is the first time I am trying one of their top cuvees.

The food pairing was medium-rare duck breast with mashed chestnuts, black truffles and a reduction of balsamic vinegar. All made by yours truly. Briefly this is how I prepared the dish.

After boiling the chestnuts for 45-60 minutes, the most boring part is removing the zest. That was done with a spoon.

hard labor

Plenty of leftovers.

The core of the chestnuts is blended with sour cream and milk.

And the final result looks like this.

mashed chestnuts

The duck breast had the skin cut and roasted 6 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other.

the skin is cut so the fat can melt easier

A final reduction of balsamic vinegar was the final step for this dish.

a little bit of cinnamon spices up the dish

For this dish I had to chose between two Syrah’s: one from Cornas, a 2006 Thierry Allemand Reynard or this 2002 Syrah from La Clape, Languedoc. I chose the latter. The Reynard will be open with another occasion.

Chateau de la Negly – La Porte du Ciel 2002

Price: 95-100 EUR

This is a 100% Syrah aged for 24 months in French oak. This wine received 19 points (on a scale of 20 points) from Jancis Robinson, a very high rating from a pretentious critic.

The color is pitch black.

The nose smells like a juicy medium rare steak with plenty of spices and dark fruit spread on top of it. It’s like you are serving meal in the glass. Dark pepper, meat, blood, balsamic vinegar, game, truffles, cinnamon, minty aromas, cedar all covered in a discreet ripe dark fruits layer. Amazing nose.

In the mouth the wine is lush, sumptuous and dense with a distinctive salty edge lent by the marine location. Full body with silky texture, thick layers of ripe dark fruits mixed with game, meat, black pepper, clove, cedar and mint, this wine is extremely complex. Has an amazing mouth feel and coats the mid palate with a silky glove. Immense balance and huge concentration.

The wine has a very long finish leaving a taste of rare steak, dark chocolate and cranberries that lasts forever.

This is one of the most complex and pleasant wines I had, very hedonistic. Exceptional wine even though 2002 was declared a difficult vintage in most of France.

The pairing was really good. The sweetness of the chestnuts, the balsamic vinegar reduction and the medium rare duck breast found perfect correspondence in this complex wine. Perfect match.

Update: I am drinking the wine after 2 days sealed with a vacuum cork in the fridge. The sweet fruit faded away and the wine has a dominant aroma of black truffles. In the mouth the wine remains lush and sumptuous with a long bitter-sweet aftertaste.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Coteaux du Languedoc
  1. Sune Svensson
    October 6, 2012 at 15:26

    I still have 1 bottle in my cellar and look forward to taste it. Is it time now or should I wait?
    Sune Svensson, Barseback, Sweden
    PS I bought it at Chateau and paid Euro 70 so it seems to be a good deal DS

    • October 7, 2012 at 18:39

      there is no rush to drink it but it is very nice already. It’s up to you

  2. Joakim Øster
    July 29, 2015 at 01:54

    Drank a 2002 tonight, a present from my uncle, it was amazing; one of the most concentrated wines I ever tasted, out of my price range but really glad i tried it 🙂
    It was so fruity it was a great pleasure to drink now, but so intense Im sure you can wait another 10-20 years, no problem! 🙂

  1. December 22, 2010 at 19:57
  2. October 5, 2011 at 16:39
  3. December 23, 2011 at 15:05

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