Lou Maset” refers to the old stone hut amid the vines at Domaine d’Aupilhac in the Languedoc town of Montpeyroux. In the pre-Technicolor film reel I have spinning in my head, I can see the vineyard workers, tired after a long morning out in the hot sun, taking refuge in the cool, dark hut. One man, his tanned brow dripping sweat over the dusty floor, holds a saucisson and produces a pocketknife from his overalls. The crew gathers as he begins slicing. Another man—Pascal, we’ll call him—yanks the cork from an unlabeled jug filled with a deep-purple liquid and takes a swig. The wine tastes like freshly pressed wild blackberries gently warmed by the sun, with an herbaceous quality recalling the shrubbery growing on the vineyard’s perimeter. It is a bit coarse on the palate, but not in an aggressive way; when Pascal gnaws on a thick slice of saucisson, there is a strangely beautiful harmony between earth, sun, and man, and for but a brief moment, everything is just right.
The wine Pascal drank, of course, was the “Lou Maset” from Domaine d’Aupilhac—the perfect refresher after a hard day of work, and the ideal companion to a roast chicken, grilled merguez, or even just a few slices of a colleague’s charcuterie.
|Blend:||40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, 5% Syrah, 5% Alicante Bouchet|
|Vineyard:||20 years, 21.5 ha total|
|Aging:||50% of wine ages for 6 months in foudres, 50% in stainless steel tank|
Domaine d'Aupilhac France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch