Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Domaine Bahourat Cuvée Elisabeth 2009: “Je suis Rhodanien.”


As Paul Strang says, the Costières de Nîmes is the place where the Languedoc becomes Provence--physically and culturally. Ask any vignerons in the region where they're from, and they'll say “Je suis Rhodanien.” Look at the soil, and you'll see large pebbles that look an awful lot like the galets roules of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And, you know, it's only a half-hour drive from Avignon to Beaucaire. In fact, it was considered part of the Languedoc until 1986, when it got its own AOC as Costières  du Gard, and its present name in 1989. It is one of the hottest regions in France, although the Mistral can be very fierce here, with a cooling and drying wind.

At Domaine Bahourat, vigneron Patrick Bech has a 124-acre vineyard planted to syrah and grenache in the village of Bouillargues, which is back a ways from the Costière--a continuous bluff running parallel to the river--and thus closer to Nîmes than to the Rhone. The terroir is nonetheless typical: soil studded with galets roules in chalky clay. Like many of his neighbors, Bech also grows fruit trees.



Domaine Bahourat Cuvée Elisabeth 2009: With its 80/20 syrah/grenache blend and gamey, herbal nose, this is definitely Rhone-like. I got a hint of blueberry and black tea, as well. In the mouth, this is very soft and round, with pretty black fruit, mild tannins, good acidity, and a little jolt of black pepper at the finish. Like many of its counterparts, it will benefit from 10-15 minutes in the fridge. We had it with grilled steak (recommended by the importer, Bourgeois Family Selections) but I think it really wants pork ribs or grilled lamb to really show itself off. Possibly the wine's best feature is its price: It was $11.99 at the late, lamented Vinsite, and I've seen it in a few other places at the price. It's worth seeking out.

2 comments:

michelecolline said...

My kind of wine! Now, if I can only find it out here in the desert!

albina N muro said...

As Paul Strang says, the Costières de Nîmes is the place where the Languedoc becomes Provence--physically and culturally. Ask any vignerons in the region where they're from, and they'll say “Je suis Rhodanien. Australian wine