Recently named Vigneron of the Year by two of France’s leading wine publications, Sylvain Fadat of Domaine d’Aupilhac is on a roll. And what better way to experience his talents than with his flagship bottling, from a stellar vintage, with a bit of bottle age? A medley of Mediterranean grape varieties dominated by Mourvèdre and Carignan, this is as good as it gets from the Languedoc: a full-bodied palate stainer flavored of southern France’s rustic backcountry, delivered with surprising elegance, and a fantastic value to boot.
The latest addition to our vigneron family from southern France, Ludovic Engelvin plies his trade in a remote land of garrigue, pine forest, and rocky vineyards west of Nîmes. He echoes his mentors, Didier Dagueneau and Didier Barral, in his minute attention to detail and anti-conventional attitude, taking a holistic approach to viticulture and winemaking with a special focus on regenerative farming and gentle, low-impact vinifications. Clausus is a pure Grenache in limestone soil, the product of infusion-style winemaking with no oak, fining, or filtration, and barely any sulfur. Its lingering finish conjures up the indulgent feeling of gorging oneself on a large bowl of luscious black cherries at their peak of summer ripeness.
Here in the Bay Area, fall has hit hard: we’re receiving our first real rainfall in many months, and temperatures have plummeted (to the mid-50s, but it’s all relative). Sweaters are out, the heat is turned up, and the mood is cozy indoors—all that’s missing is a robust red brimming with deep, soulful flavors to righteously usher in the cold months. Alain Pascal’s 2017 rouge is certainly still on the young side, but all it takes is a quick splash in a decanter to coax out its colorful, spirited Provençal character. A bold, tannic beast scented of roasted herbs with a chewy texture as thick and deep as the clay soils that spawned it, this big baby roars out of the gate with real verve. A hearty roast, served with a side of garlicky potatoes seasoned with cooking juices, would be its ideal companion.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa