Happy Monday, Wine lovers!
Let me tell you what's so cool about this southern region of France. Languedoc-Roussillon hasn't always been at the forefront of making great wines. In the 1970's, the entire region got sort of a bad rap for overproduction. 60% or more of all of the wine that's exported from France comes from this region, and most of it is on the more mass produced side. The majority of wines from this region are specifically targeted for American markets. After more than their fair share of turmoil, which included demonstrations in support of wine making officials (some were actually violent), from wine making communities, things needed to change. Winemaking is indeed a passionate business. In the early 2000's, things finally began to settle down. Regions were re-classified, and great wines began to re-emerge.
The following wines are from 3 of my absolute favorite A.O.C. regions in Languedoc-Roussillon.
La Grange des Combes, Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun (2015)
This wine scored 91 Points from Wine Spectator, and was #57 on their Top 100 wines of 2016.
This is a more or less typical, but exemplary blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Distributor's notes: A deep, lustrous and inky colour, the wine has a nose of crushed red fruit, wild herbs and a hint of smoke. The palate is rich and ripe, with a supple tannic structure and multi-layered texture.
Less than $15/bottle, and a case discount is available. Highly recommended.
Terre de Loups, Mont des Albieres Cave de Berlou Saint Chinian Berlou (2013)
This selection brings on more bacon on the front end, as the blend is 60% Syrah, 30% Carignan, and 10% Grenache. This one has been in my regular rotation since tasting it on a trip to N.Y.C. last fall. I seem to remember it being mention that this particular producer does everything Bio-Dynamic, but I can neither confirm or deny this at the moment. So many producers that practice organic, sustainable, or bio-dynamic, sometimes don't even mention it. In any case, it's absolutely delicious, and pairs extremely well with any type of red meat dishes, lamb, or hard cheeses.
Distributor's notes: This wine has a bright color dress and reveals aromatic notes of fresh red fruit, with good power, finesse and elegance highlighted by a mouth with rounded tannins.
Less than $15/bottle, and a case discount is available. Highly recommended. Wait. Scratch that. You need this!
Last but not least...
Domaine Cazes, Castell d'Agly Maury Sec (2014)
80% Grenache, and 20% Carignan, from what is probably the best place on Earth to grow these 2 particular varietals. Underneath the soil is mostly quartz, which gives wines from this region, a very lively mineral finish. Along with the warmer climate, which leads to earlier ripening fruit, this wine has a rich, meaty mouthfeel, but is very supple on the finish. Although it doesn't feel like it, this wine is a beast, clocking in at 15% ABV. Robert Parker gave it 92 points, BTW.
Less than $18/bottle, and yes, case discount is available. Recommendation? Let me put it to you this way. I had customers yelling me the first time I ran out of this one. I won't ruin the surprise. This wine has earned a permanent parking space in my wine rack at home.
Stop in at our Fire Road location to check these out.