Maker: Product of France, imported by Prestige Wine Group
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Le Grand Noir Cabernet-Shiraz 2003 features packaging that is rather elegant in its simplicity, with an ink drawing of a black sheep surrounded by a sea of ivory and “Le Grand Noir” in an antique font. They translate it as “black sheep”, so I assume “grand” has an meaning other than “big” to French shepherds. The aroma isn’t particularly strong, but hints at raspberries, spice, and a hint of licorice. The wine is a bit light for a cab-shiraz blend. Its flavor favors dark fruit, oak, and pepper. The finish was a sort of dry spiciness. As one might expect for a French cab-shiraz, Le Grand Noir is a bit flintier than blends of this type from Australia or California. It should go well with lighter meat dishes or moderately strong cheeses.
According to the data sheet from Prestige, Wine Spectator gave this wine an 87 and said, “Assertive and flavorful, with plenty of smoke, dark plum, and herbal flavors. Tastes more of Cabernet than Syrah.” The data sheet itself says, “Deep red colour with purple fringe. Intense aromas of vanilla, coffee, red fruit, spice, and herbs. Rich palette [sic] with soft tannins, vanilla red fruit flavors with excellent length.”
The Martini Republic blog tried Le Grand Noir Cabernet-Shiraz 2003 and commented, “It had the round, fruity and oaky flavor of the cabernet, but also the spice of the shiraz. Very drinkable and smooth, not too sweet – cabernet with an interesting edge.” Leslie’s Home Spot says simply, “It was a nice table wine. It was under $10 and Rich’s now snobby pallette liked it.”