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2013 Fitou “Atsuko”

Domaine Les Mille Vignes

2013 Fitou “Atsuko” Domaine Les Mille Vignes - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Valérie Guérin’s wines are all the rage in Paris wine bars, ground zero for the next vinous trends to infiltrate their New York and San Francisco counterparts. While she farms her meager holdings organically and scarcely intervenes in the cellar, the draw to Valérie’s wines does not lie in her philosophy or any radical techniques. Rather, the wines possess a level of purity and finesse that appeals to wine lovers on an elemental level, beyond what fashion may dictate. Atsuko is a regal expression of seventy-five-year-old Grenache, taut with energy and buried layers of complexity that will unfurl onto your palate and over many years in bottle. Mille Vignes is the real deal.

Anthony Lynch

Vintage: 2013
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Grenache Noir
Appellation: Fitou
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Domaine Les Mille Vignes
Winemaker: Jacques Guérin, Valérie Guérin
Vineyard: > 75 years
Soil: Limestone, Marl, Schist
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Languedoc-Roussillon

Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.

While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s checkered history, the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with an emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.

Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, the region boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.

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When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174


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