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2020 Pays d’Oc Rouge “Les Vieilles Vignes de Mourvèdre”

Château La Roque
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Even though this wine also hails from the slopes of Pic Saint Loup, Château La Roque has not been allowed to add “Pic Saint Loup” to its label since 2017, after the region was granted AOC status. Why? Because the appellation requires that at least 50% of the blend be Syrah, while old-vine Mourvèdre is the backbone of this gorgeous biodynamic cuvée. Notes of black cherries, iron, and blood orange coalesce in a plush and approachable bottling that would give many Bandols a run for their money. 

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 70% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 10% Grenache
Appellation: IGP Pays d'Oc
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Château La Roque
Winemaker: Cyriaque Rozier
Vineyard: 50 - 60 years, 18 ha
Soil: Clay, limestone scree
Aging: Aged in demi-muids (2,3,4, and 5 years old) for 18 months, aged in bottle for 6 months
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.2%

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About The Region

Languedoc-Roussillon

map of 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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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

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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