Ouled Thaleb, Morocco () “Signature” 2013

($23, Nomadic Distribution): You would be forgiven if you were unaware that Morocco produces wine — and good ones at that.  After all, the Sahara Desert lies within the country and 99% of the population belongs to a religion that prohibits alcohol consumption.  That said, this former French colony produced a lot of wine in the past, which was mostly used to beef-up thinner wines from the mother country.  Ouled Thaleb, thought to be the oldest producer in Morocco, made this wine, a blend of Marselan (50%), Petit Verdot (35%) and Carménère, from 25 year-old vines on the country’s Atlantic Coast.  Thankfully, not a ripe “fruit bomb,” it’s juicy with a harmonious mid-weight mixture of red fruit and herbal flavors.  A remarkable freshness and an appealing slightly bitter finish make it easy to recommend to accompany robust winter fare.
88 Michael Apstein Dec 27, 2016