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Panis “Chateau du Donjon” 2011 Minervois Rosé (Languedoc) – Heavy. Lurid. Tastes neon-magenta, if I can introduce some synæsthesia all up in this joint. (This bit of age-inappropriate verbiage brought to you by having just read Whitney Adams’ blog.) Alas, it’s a chore to drink. (7/12)

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)

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)


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)

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)

Like a bedroom

Boudouresques “Château Massiac” 2006 Minervois (Languedoc) – Earthmeat, grit, layers of rough structure, and the darkest precursors of blackened berries. Scowling. Probably closing up, but it feels a little overstructured anyway. I guess time will tell. (6/10)

Boudouresques “Château Massiac” 2007 Minervois (Languedoc) – More open than the 2006, with much greater generosity of black fruit and a lighter foot on the tannin pedal. Otherwise, mostly the same in terms of overall organoleptics and structure. This is promising. (7/10)


[bottles]Sénat 2007 Minervois “La Nine” (Languedoc) – Seems dominated by the aromatics of its grenache (bubblegum and sticky raspberry) and the structure of its mourvèdre, but while there’s both ballooning fruit and shouldery structure, I’m not sure where this wine’s head is. Time it needs, and time it will get, but I do wonder about its future. (5/09)

Jugie & jury

Alliance Minervois “Jacques de la Jugie” 2006 Minervois La Livinière “Cella Vinaria” (Languedoc) – Were there a Minervois Nouveau (and for all I know, maybe there is), I suspect it would taste a little like this: the dark, soil-infused leather of Minervois in a surprisingly light, crisp, approachable way. I find this a little shocking in a Livinière-labeled bottling – I expect extra layers of density and difficulty at this age – but it’s hard to deny the wine’s appeal. (4/09)

House & Sénat

[jean-baptiste sénat]Sénat 2004 Minervois “Le Bois des Merveilles” (Languedoc) – Grenache and mourvèdre. While this shows the darkest possible fruit, there’s a sweetness and purity to it. Leather, earth, black-‘n’-blueberry, cèpes…all concentrated and very, very long. Terrific balance. Marvelous. Or rather, merveilleux. (10/06)