92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The only red presented at this tasting, the 2012 VDP Cotes Catalanes Tessellae is 100% old vine Carignan, aged ten months in concrete tank, that comes from vineyards in Maury and Les Aspres (both of which have schist soils). An old-world styled fruit-bomb, with its massive and decadently-styled blackberry fruit, spice, licorice and plum, this full-bodied effort has no hard edges, beautiful purity of fruit and a seamless texture that stays nicely focused and clean. Enjoy this sexy, voluptuous beauty..."
Vinous Reverie Notes
Carignan has had a rather tumultuous history in the south of France. Once seen as a necessary grape to spur the recovery of the region after the plague of phylloxera in the late 19th century, primarily for its ability to produce high yields, it has been largely replaced with “nobler” varieties such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. This is unfortunate – for as challenging as the variety is to love when the vines are young – they are superb with half a century under their belt. Jean-Marc Lafage luckily resisted the call to uproot and replace this variety, and he possesses Carignan vines well over 70 years old on the schist soils of Aspres and Maury from which he started making the Tessellae Carignan at the urging of Eric Solomon. Organic. Variety: Carignan. Fermentation: Hand harvested, destemmed, cold pre-fermentation maceration, fermented in concrete. Aging: 12 months in concrete tanks (80%) and demi-muid (20%).