Browse Tag


Bedroom eyes

Boudouresques “Domaine Massiac” 2008 Vin de Pays d’Oc Sauvignon (Languedoc) – All previous bottles have been aggressively advanced, as one might expect from the closure. This – the last – is, of course, the exact opposite. Vibrant, buzzing, fully alive…bronzed skewers of antiqued fruit and epic length. Delicious. I wouldn’t wait moment longer, however, if there’s any lingering in your cellar. The closure won’t allow it. (1/12)

Bordering almost

Bourdoudresques “Sentinelle de Massiac” 2008 Minervois (Languedoc) – Blocky and monolithic. This is my experience of far, far too many Minervois in their youth, and I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely understand the purpose in drinking them at this age…not just because they’re not that interesting, but because it’s not easy to tell if age is going to help matters. I think, in this case, it might, for there’s some juicy, black-fruited meat stuffing…but there’s also a solid wall of chunky tannin and not really any evident life to the wine. (9/11)

Little fig, little fig, let me in

Figuette “Château La Roque” 2009 Pic Saint Loup Rosé (Languedoc) – A little bit too sticky to be refreshing. Strawberries and raspberries, just a touch candied, with a dusting of thyme maybe? Something vaguely herbal, anyway. I’m not yet completely off Languedoc rosés as a category, but I can tell that day is coming. The percentage of them that are pleasurable beyond their excess weight and/or remnants of the overripe grapes whence they came is just way too small. (7/11)


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)


Gibert “Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie” 2007 Corbières (Languedoc) – Geography can fool, at times, and I’ve always felt Corbières was a fine example of that misdirection. One thinks Languedoc, one prepares for dense and dark, and instead one gets a wine with both spice and space. It’s not light, and it’s certainly not lithe, but it blunders its way across the palate carrying a ballast of intrinsic helium, sometimes expressing as a suggestion of froth, other times just pushing both acid and spice to the forefront. Even the fruit itself is more chewy, rustic redness than the scowling brood of so many of the appellation’s neighbors. And this is a very, very tasty example of the type. (5/11)

Hen-e-ry the fourth I am, I am

Navarre 2008 Saint-Chinian “Cuvée Oliver” (Languedoc) – I really don’t like this. Stale butter and the scotchy taste of wood (is it wooded? the web site doesn’t mention it if so) completely ruin whatever fruit characteristics might be present. Nasty stuff. (3/11)

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)

In the fields

St. Martin de la Garrigue 2008 Coteaux du Languedoc “Tradition” (Languedoc) – A blend of syrah and carignan. If not the simple, basic-fruit country wine it sort of pretends to be in affect, it achieves a fair portion of a similar set of goals. Ripe fruit, sun-washed and red-turning-to-purple berried, with hints of soil and underbrush, but nothing insisting on casting the exuberant fruit in any kind of shadow, no matter how momentary. Very quaffable, very easygoing. (2/11)

Rozier Greer

Rozier “Les Traverses de Fontanès” 2004 Vin de Pays d’Oc Cabernet Sauvignon (Languedoc) – One doesn’t often think of cabernet sauvignon as a light wine, but that’s exactly what this one is. I could identify it as a diluted form of what Bordeaux used to taste like, but not only wouldn’t that be quite right (the fruit has a more reddish tinge than would be typical in Bordeaux, though more standard cassis and blackberry are evident as well), the use of the word “dilute” would be misleading. This isn’t thinned out, it’s just light. Deft. Airy. Structurally, it’s cabernet-like, retaining the (typical and, to me, necessary) leafy edge to its tannin, but there’s a lot of space and luminosity within the wine. Frankly, I love it. It’s like a really good Beaujolais Nouveau (yes, such exists) done with cabernet sauvignon rather than gamay. (1/11)

Roque back, mountain

Boutin “Tour de La Roque” 2004 Pic Saint Loup (Languedoc) – Maybe a third of the way to wherever it’s going, though I suspect it’s going to hold its various transitional positions for a while. Right now, it’s thick, meaty, fruit-pasty, and a little bloody – all, because it’s probably not clear, positives from me with respect to this particular wine – with a finish that narrows. As it airs, it becomes more and more linear. (1/11)