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Cabernet Sauvignon is a bit of an intruder on the limestone slopes around Pic Saint-Loup: Syrah and Mourvèdre are at home here, producing deep, elegant, spicy reds with a strong Mediterranean accent. And yet, Cabernet has proven it is just as capable in providing its own interpretation of this dramatic landscape of rocky bluffs and garrigue-infested hills. This humble vin de pays from Cyriaque Rozier of Château Fontanès is teeming with juicy wild fruit, while an herbaceous element hints at both the varietal side of the grape as well as the aromatic herbs typical of the region. Its dusty tannin is yet another lens for that earthy Languedoc terroir to shine through.
Cyriaque ages this red in stainless steel and bottles it young to capture all its youthful vigor. It is not trying to be Bordeaux—on the contrary, it genuinely reflects the down-home, country soulfulness we love about the Languedoc. And on top of that, the winemaking—and the price—encourages unabashed gulping; slight chill optional.
|Appellation:||Vin de Pays d’Oc|
|Vineyard:||Planted in 1970, 1 ha|
|Soil:||Clay, Limestone, Marl|
|Aging:||Wine is aged for 6 months to one year in stainless steel|
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch