Wierd Wines #2
Les Vins qui Tachent
It seems that as the temperature rises blog updates decrease… I will try and maintain at least a weekly post (but thanks to those who emailed me for an update).
The south of France is home to some of the meanest, darkest and densest wines in the viticultural world. Cahors, Madiran and Irouleguy with their Malbec and Tannat grapes are but a couple of the regions whose wines, if perhaps a touch somber, are built to accompany only the richest, and the most gamey of foods. These wines scare me (see cahors post ), however, I opened an interesting bottle last night which merits inclusion in this ignoble club.
Alicante 2000, Vin de Table de France, Pech Redon ($25..importation)
A cross between Grenache and Petit Bouschet, the Alicante grape reminded me alot of Malbec. Dark and foreboding, it’s opacity is rivaled only by it’s tannic structure. Grown mostly in the Languedoc region of France, it is mostly used for blending to add depth and color. Like it’s southern compatriots, this is not the wine to sip by the pool on a hot, Sunday afternoon. Perhaps a touch more fruit than a Cahors, and with less of the black licorice finish, it is loaded with pepper and spice, and of course tannin. I found it actually more hospitable than the majority of the other ‘tooth stainers,’ and perfect for a mushroom dosed braised lamb, wild boar or other tasty meat. Pech Redon is a fantastic estate in the La Clape region of the Languedoc and run by Christophe Bousquet, a young vigneron who also produces great Cabernet Sauvignon as well as more classic Syrah, Grenach and Carignan blends.
Another Near-Perfect German Riesling
Rauenthaler Baiken, Rheingau Riesling, 2001, Spatlese, Kloster Eberbach ($39..saq)
I must admit that I love them all, but this one blew me away. It is widely considered that the Mosel produces the best Riesling in Germany, however, this Rheingau effort has piqued my interest in the region. More delicate than a classic Mosel, the Eberbach was more floral, softer and with less sugar than I had expected. At $40, it’s expensive, but well worth it if you want to start an evening off in style (or an afternoon in the sun).