Browse Tag


Iché & scratchy

Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2000 Minervois (Languedoc) – Whether it was impatience, curiosity, or anxiety that got the better of me, I opened my last bottle of this and received iron-rich blood and leather with a muscular structure still fully present. Minervois is always pretty burly, so I hesitate to say that the wine isn’t mature just based on its mass (and the “fruit,” as such, has indeed developed quite a bit), but there’s a persistent nag that this could’ve gone longer. Well, I’ll never know. (4/12)


Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2008 Minervois (Languedoc) – Unlike many previous vintages of this wine…well, actually, all with which I was familiar…this didn’t taste good right out of the gate, or at least no bottle I tried did. As a result, I made two decisions: one good, one potentially bad. The latter was, unfortunately, to go short on cellaring some of this absurdly undervalued wine, because I lacked confidence. The former was to put what little I did have away for a short while. And right now, it’s drinking very prettily (for Minervois) in a way that reminds me of how all the other vintages drank in their first flush of youth. Oh well, my mistake. Here we have meat, baked earth, rosemary stem, and darkness without the overt density that can afflict the wines of the region. There’s structure, though it’s a little tremulous and I do still wonder about the future. The present, however, is very nice. And I’ve already been wrong once about this wine. (4/11)

Héré the dog

Iché 2007 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc) – I don’t want to suggest that this wine is “deep,” but (almost) every year it surprises me with the depth its maker is able to wrest from it. Performing above its pay grade, as the saying goes., and doing it time and time again. Dark berries and earth, herbs, soils, spicy grains. Crisper than is the regional wont. For the price, beyond a no-brainer, unless you actually hate wine. In which case, why are you reading this? (2/11)

And scratchy

Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2007 Minervois (Languedoc) – I really did not care for this wine at release, and was suspicious about what I’d find. My fears were unfounded; it’s as classic an Oupia Minervois as any other, dark and soil-browed, with the faintest tinge of an herbal licorice to the dark fruit and meat-roasting spices. I don’t know that I’d call the wine “expressive,” but it does express something…and quite clearly, too. (9/10)

Burn the heretics!

Iché 2005 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc) – Solid, dark fruit residue with a hint of meat and wild thyme. It’s tempting to call this wine pro-forma, but that’s only due to familiarity; this remains, even given the terrible dollar/euro exchange, a very good value that plays well with wines twice its price. But…alas, the recent passing of its maker leaves this (along with the rest of the Oupia line) in doubt. (5/08)

Iché fingers

Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2006 Minervois (Languedoc) – Very light mercaptans, funky and difficult throughout. Tannic, as well. I don’t think this is ready for the spotlight quite yet. Maybe the wine is in mourning for its creator, who died last year. I know I am. (1/08)

l’Année Hérétiques

Iché 2004 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc) – Drinking very nicely right now, though it’s in no danger of falling apart, with dark, scowling structural elements, a medium-bodied and meat-infused dark berry-and-branch core, and a pleasant, balanced finish. Despite the recent price creep (inevitable given the currency situation), this is still one of the better values in the marketplace; a lot of wine for very little money. (12/07)

Burn them!

Iché 2004 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc) – Rough and fine at the same time, showing a dark, earthy and slightly herbal meatiness with chewy, dark fruit. But it’s not heavy; it makes few demands, and rewards simple enjoyment with…well, simple enjoyment. (8/07)

Iché fingers

Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2005 Minervois (Languedoc) – More tightly-wound than its heretical brother, and a bit difficult to discern; there’s a dark, brooking surliness to the wine that repels the inquisitive. Layers of thick tannin seem to be the vintage’s signature (8/07)