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This blend of Roussanne, Rolle (Vermentino), Grenache Blanc, and Marsanne is a definite contender for “best white of the South.” The juice ferments wild and ages for more than a year in neutral casks, completing its malolactic fermentation before an unfiltered bottling. Why one of southern France’s finest whites? Poise, length, sense of place, and aging potential. A 2002 opened recently showed astonishing complexity, reminiscent of honey, almonds, wildflowers, and liquid rocks.
The Languedoc is certainly not known for its white wines, but planting the right grapes in the right site can yield great results. Retaining freshness is the crucial determinant here, as the hot meridional climate favors low acidity, and grapes like Marsanne and Grenache Blanc are lacking in natural acidity to begin with. At 350 meters above sea level, Cocalières experiences diurnal temperature shifts crucial to preserving this acid, while the northwest sun exposure prevents excessive ripeness and correspondingly flabby wines. The vineyard also boasts a curious and unusual geology: it was once a lake that formed after the eruption of an ancient volcano, resulting in a mixture of limestone and basalt—a rare geological phenomenon. The white wine from Cocalières perfectly reflects its terroir: taut, mineral—almost salty—and suggestive of the wild thyme and fennel that grow abundantly around the vines.
|Blend:||25% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne, 25% Rolle, 25% Grenache Blanc|
Domaine d’Aupilhac France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
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