Monday, April 18, 2011

There Are 59 Appellations in Languedoc/Roussillon. "Vin de Pays du Val de Cesse" Is One Of Them.



Alain Rochard & Laurent Farre own a restaurant in Montreal, The Continental Bistro, and a bar called Plan B Bar. They also own a winery in Minervois called Vignoble du Loup Blanc. All the links are in French; these guys are Quebecois before all else. Rochard trained as a sommelier, and he and Farre decided that what they really needed was their own vineyard; since they were Quebecois, that meant a vineyard in France. They aquired property in the tiny village of Roueyre in the Bize-Minervois district, where the Aude and Herault appellations share a border. The wine under examination tonight is labeled “Vin de Pays du Val de Cesse” which is a sub-appellation of the Aude, and which means the grapes were grown south of the winery near the village of Ginestas. Yeah, I know. There are 59 appellations in the Languedoc/Roussillon AC. Or maybe 61? This is one of them. So:

Les Trois P'tits “C” Vin de pays du Val de Cesse 2007: Made from an unusual blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Carignan, 20% Tempranillo, 5% Alicante Bouschet. The first note out of the glass was charcoal, followed by big, billowy black cherry aromas, and a note of chocolate mint. This is another one of those Southern reds that has a ton of fruit yet still manages to achieve full dryness on the palate. The tannins are fine, and the texture is slightly grainy; dark fruits, brambly notes and just a hint of oak at the end. Nicolas Gaignon is the winemaker; his wine is certified organic; he picks by hand, uses indigenous yeasts, and ages the wine in old neutral barrels. Our bottle accompanied a dinner of ribs done in the oven, rubbed with Penzey's Southwest mixture; broccoli rabe, and rice with black currants. It was one of our first dinners on the front porch of 2011; and for once everything lived up to our unrealistically high expectations. We got the bottle at Vinsite.

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