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MWG January 8th tasting: A pair of organic red blends from the Languedoc

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Faugères 2012, L’Impertinent, Château des Estanilles ($18.05, 10272755)
Organically farmed Syrah (30%), Grenache (20%), Mourvèdre (20%), Carignan (15%) and Cinsault (15%). Manually harvested. Destemmed and crushed. The varieties are vinified separately, with fermentation and maceratation adapted to each variety. Matured in stainless steel tanks (90%) and oak barrels (10%) for around one year. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: AOC & cie.
Red fruit (especially elderberry), spice (especially black pepper), cedar, a hint of burnt rubber. In the mouth, it’s a rich, round and smooth middleweight. The crunchy fruit tends to cassis and is nicely textured by tannins and acidity while light oak and a streak of minerality add nuance. Finishes on a savoury, herb and leather note. Good, clean fun. (Buy again? Yep.)

Languedoc 2012, Montpeyroux, Domaine d’Aupilhac ($22.95, 856070)
A blend of Mourvèdre (30%), Syrah (25%), Carignan (30%), Grenache (10%) and Cinsault (5%) from organically and biodynamically farmed vines averaging 35 years old. Destemmed and crushed. The varieties are vinified separately. Fermentation (with indigenous yeasts) and maceration with daily punch-downs last about three weeks and take place in open, temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Matured in small foudres and used barrels until the summer following the harvest, then blended and returned to the foudres and barrels for further maturation. In all, the wine is barrel-aged for about 20 months. Unfiltered. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Bergeron-les-vins.
Initial whiff of reduction dissipates, leaving plum, dried cherry, slate dust, paprika and some charred notes. As round and smooth as the Estanilles but also, for now at least, a little less deep. In compensation, the fruit is remarkably pure, underpinned by sleek acidity and solid if cushy tannins and faintly overtoned with garrigue that lingers through the long, dark-minerally finish. I suspect this is passing through a closed phase and will deepen with a year or two in the bottle. If drinking now, carafe a couple of hours before serving. (Buy again? Yep.)

While the Impertinent is light and bright enough to drink on its own, the Montpeyroux is more of a food wine.

(Flight: 6/8)

Written by carswell

February 3, 2015 at 09:40

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