Archive | March, 2023

Languedoc Love

28 Mar

For a good while, if a Languedoc wine came around I tended to shy away–because I never knew what I was gonna get. What would it be? How would it be? Good? Bad? Strong? Weak? EXCEPTIONAL? Or a meh for the price?

But back then my misgivings mostly concerned quality. Today, my not-misgivings-per-se have more to do with style–but that is a good thing! The range of wine styles available from the Languedoc is extensive–I wrote about it first here and now, two years later I am always wanting to explore the region further, sousing out the individual subregions, adding favorites to my list to be checked twice.

Of course having gone to the region, walked the soils (limestone, old schist, and even older schist figured prominently), met the winemakers–oh, and tasted the berries straight of the vine–all of this helped me grow my reverence for the region. Um what can I tell you? It’s in the south of France, west of Provence. From shore toward up in the Pyrenees means there is a variety of soils, breezes, and elevations, hence the ability to make a variety of styles.

But variety is the spice of life, no? Ooh ooh! And get ’em while the price is good! I got an assortment of new-to-me Lango wines (can I coin Lango as a term, like Lambo but wine?) to try. It was a delight. Here are my notes.

OBVI I have to start with he kittykat named one:

Château des Adouzes Le Tigre Faugères 2020

It does have a certain feline energy. For all the stuffing of big ol’ grapes (Carignan, Grenache, Syrah) it is rather sleek. Like a stealthy meower. Smells super fresh. Feels surprisingly light on its toes with medium-svelte but tickley tannins. Gliding acidity. Blue and red fruit out the wazoo. Bits and bobs of garrigue–lavender sage and so on but it all ends on a lightly peppered licorice note. I’m into it. Le Tigre. Meow.

Domaine de Montrose Rosé 2022

Very light n bright, zingy even. Lurve that they are at carbon neutrality. It gives all the wet stone and red roses, ripe red raspberries, fun fun fun nose. The plate is silky but as I said, zingy. All the nose plus some tangerine fun and hints of…ashtray in a good way? Somewhere between potting soil and white pepper.

Domaine de Montrose 1701 Rosé 2022

A Roussanne blend no wonder my amour. The freshness. The subtle citrus and stone fruit zipped through with avid and lavished with whey. Its a damn pretty wine.

Domaine de Montrose “Salamandre” IGP Côtes de Thongue 2020

Excited alcohol and everything make an excited (again) swallow so um, give it a moment. Sparkly red fruit. Slightly leathery red fruit. All at once. Deep-cut sort of acid-alcohol zing and that’s okay. It brings earthy, black and blueberry fruits (fresh and jammed) it gives both brightness and weighty vibes all at once. Fun fun fun.

Olivier Coste RARE Carignan Blanc 2022

So aromatic! I hadn’t even gotten the glass to my nose and I felt a flood of citrus, white flower and chalk aromas streaming upwards. Nose deeper in I get orange blossom and honeysuckle–it smells sweet. But its dry. Lively, light bodied with further florals verging on white pepper, and hints of grass, with a finish that calls to mind lanolin. Not super concentrated, but with some complexity. Easy to drink.


15 Mar

Napa, schmapa. I get all jaded like it’s expensive and exclusive and pricy and whatnot but then sometimes I open a bottle of Napa Cab and am like Oh. Hey there handsome!

Here’s to leaning into the popular! Delicious, delicious popular wine.

The winery, Davis Estates, is in Calistoga, the most northerly of Napa subregions. It is family-owned. And the president is a woman–shout out to Jessica Link! At any rate, I leaned into these wines. Anyone who truly knows me knows I am a sucker for a nice nice nice like nicccccce Chardonnay. Which theirs is, but also I thoroughly enjoyed the Cab and red blend.

Indulge yourself. I did. Myself. Indulge.

Davis Estates Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 This is wickedly redolent of black currant jams and purple plums, burnished with something that tickles the nose–call it pyrizines, call it pepper, call it the abv? But the nose finish (noses finish too) brings seductive vanilla. I seriously envision a woman in silk at the end of a sniff. It’s still wildly young, of course, but I enjoy a youthful wine. The tannins are definitely medium plus but to put in WSET Diploma terms I would say they are medium plus and dry, but velvety and optimally integrated, playing well of the ripe ripe fruit flavors, which on the palate bring more currants, black plums, cigar box (aka vanilla, and…okay just straight up cigar), and the teeniest tiniest hint of arugula. This is good juice.

Davis Estates First Responders Napa Valley Chardonnay 2020 Golden in hue and taste–the nose intrigues with pear, bruised yellow apple, vanilla bean and allspice. The palate is sumptuous, with terrific balance of acidity and buttered body. A touch of salted caramel carries…you know what? I’m thinking a dab of apple pie on a saltine. An agile, agile saltine. Sounds odd? Try it. I haven’t, but I feel like it would be a win win. Expansive with a core of buttered fruit. Plus, it benefits local responders!

Davis Estates Zephyr Private Reserve 202052% Cab Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot Tis an elegant fountain pen, with spiced berry medley punch and cigar box on the nose. Makes me picture a bed lined with satin sheets that both retain and give off heat level excitement on the palate. Rich body, but subtle, like a wealthy person with enough class to not be ostentatious. Firm and integrated tannins hold up a medley (yes another medley!) of blackberry compote, cedar, vanilla, and allspice. Drinking it feels like someone cloaking me in a fur lined jewel trimmed cloak.