Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Monster From the Languedoc

Today is wineblogging Wednesday, an occasion on which many winebloggers try to explore a common theme to see what a multitude of winesoaked minds can come up with together. And, the theme on this occasion is Languedoc wines under $30. It's the brainstorm of Marcus (aka Dr. Weingolb), whose blog can guide you to many different takes on this topic.

Preparing for an upcoming trip, I have not been able to get out and search up any new Languedoc wines in the past week, but I do have an outstanding Languedoc red in my basement that I've been dying to try again. It's a 2001 Mas Cal Demoura L'Infidele from Coteaux du Languedoc, and it's worth writing about again because it's a monster of a wine.

This is an intensely earthy wine that can make you forget all about smooth, dapper wines with pedigrees. Powerful and somewhat rustic, this wine uses syrah, grenache, mourvedre, carignan and cinsault. How's that for matching up with Marcus's grape chart. At $29 a bottle, it just comes in under the $30 cutoff, but it's worth every penny. Here's what I had to say about it in November:

"It was a virtual explosion of barnyard aromas, from freshly tilled earth to soggy, ripe cow pasture...There's no denying it's a big wine for under $30. And, the barnyard quality will fade after an hour or two. Then you can look forward to mushrooms, earth, leather, lead pencil and anise. How many wines can say that?"

How did it show tonight? Wonderfully, of course. I got a bit of the barnyard aroma I noted six months ago, but this time it was more of a sidelight than upfront and center. Primarily I noted rich aromas of smoked meats seasoned with rosemary. And then the leather showed through. I wished that I was having roast leg of lamb for dinner to go with this wine, but the portabello mushrooms with goat cheese we cooked up served almost as well.

Without a doubt I was impressed all over again. This wine just has so many layers of complexity that you can endlessly explore its subtleties. And the length, wow.

I'm a true believer in what the Languedoc can do, and hope to find some other southern French wines just as interesting very soon. In fact, I'm off to check in with Dr. Weingolb to find out what he and others are prescribing!


Blogger RougeAndBlanc said...

Sorry, I posted my original comment with the wrong post. All in all, thanks for the recommendation of this wine and. I love barnyard aromas as in many good CDPs. I shall seek this wine out.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

Hey good one!

That L'Infidele was on my shopping list over the past few weeks and I never got around to buying it. Thanks for highlighting it. I think only the 2003 version is around in my neck of the woods these days.

And I LOVE those 2001 bottles. Such a vintage for Languedoc. My entry was a Faugères from 2001. Between the year, the price and the origin, there's no way that a wine like that is going to let me down!

1:48 PM  
Blogger JD said...

I have to confess I was always more partial various wines of the Rhone, but I'm keeping my eyes open now for more bargains from the south of France!

1:46 PM  

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