This 2009 red wine "Les Terrasses" from Domaine La Croix Chaptal is a perfect example of the excellent quality wines you can buy for less than $20 per bottle. The Languedoc is the source of some of the best value, good quality wines. Once regarded as a source of poor quality bulk wine, the Languedoc wine industry has truly been revolutionized.
While I have long been a fan of Languedoc wine, it was really last summer when we spent three weeks in the region that I really grasped the impact of the quality revolution. This red wine is no exception. It is bright and refreshing with crisp acidity. Its crunchy, suede-like tannins frame the bounty of fruity flavors that explodes on the palate: blackberry, cassis, wild raspberry and bramble fruit. The texture is plump and the wine has a generous mouthfeel. But this wine is not just about the fruit; it has a distinct minerality which prevails across the palate and savory, wild herb and juniper notes that add complexity and a long, lingering finish.
At the Table
When tasting this wine, my mind immediately imagined a dish of braised wild boar, something hearty and warming to compliment the wild side of the wine. If wild boar is not your thing try beef or lamb, or for the more adventurous readers, why not pair it with Faith's recipe for Braised Goat Shanks with Prune, Shallot and Brandy Reduction. A truly delicious combination!
About Domaine La Croix Chaptal, Terrasses du Larzac and this 2009 Les Terrasses
Domaine La Croix Chaptal is owned by Claude Walter Pacaud, a native of France's Cognac region. Charles discovered the area of Terrasses du Larzac while he was studying viticulture and winemaking in Montpellier. In 1991 his dream came true when he purchased the estate and its 20 hectares of vineyards, which date back to the 10th century, when they were cultivated by the Benedictine monks of Gellone Abbey.
The appellation Terrasses du Larzac is a very special, small, designated AOC wine area within the larger Coteaux du Languedoc appellation. The AOC area, which was established in 2005 has an exceptional and unique terroir. The designation Terrasses du Larzac is for red wines only. Wines must be a blend of at least two grape varieties. Permitted varieties are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvdère, Carignan and Cincaut.
This 2009 Domaine La Croix Chaptal 'Les Terrasses" Rouge is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne
Previous Wine of the Week: 2011 Esporão Reserva White