I am just back from vacation in the Languedoc, France and I am even more in love with the wines. What continued to impress me was their authenticity and expression of terroir as well as their excellent value.
While there I visited a number of producers including Domaine d'Aupilhac, whose wines are available in the United States. The Domaine d'Aupilhac Lou Maset Rouge, a blend of mainly Grenache and Cinsault, is absolutely delicious. The 2010 vintage is brimming with lively, refreshing fruit, yet also firmly grounded in a savory minerality, expressing its rugged Mediterranean landscape.
Deep crimson in color, there is a wonderful freshness and brightness of fruit that prevails in this wine, but it is not what I would call a fruit-driven wine. Aromas of fresh forest fruits, earthy underbrush, scented garrigue, dried sage and tarragon really do draw you in. On the palate the freshness continues, layers of flavor open up with each sip, lively ripe fruit, minerality, hints of spice and air-dried meats plus a potpourri of dried herbs that add complexity. Tannins, while present and add structure are supple with just enough grip. It has quite a long, savory finish.
At the Table
Domaine d'Aupilhac's Lou Maset Rouge is a real food wine and very versatile at the table. Medium-bodied, it is an all year round wine, not too powerful for lighter summer fare. Pair with roast lamb, game birds or rabbit. It is also excellent with air-dried and cured meats, grilled flank steak or meat kebabs, as well as aged hard cheese such as Gouda or Cheddar.
Find it! 2010 Domaine d'Aupilhac Lou Maset Rouge - $12.99 to $17.99. Sources via Vinopedia
About Domaine d'Aupilhac, Coteaux du Languedoc and Montpeyroux
Domaine d'Aupilhac is located in the picturesque village of Montpeyroux, about 20 miles northwest of the city of Montpellier, in the Languedoc region of France. The Languedoc is in the south of France, west of Provence and east of the Pyrenees and Atlantic coast. Montpeyroux is an official named cru (village) within the AOC/AOP appellation of Coteaux du Languedoc.
The vineyards of Domaine d'Aupilhac are certified organic. All of the wines are fermented using natural yeasts and the wines are bottled unfiltered. The 2010 Lou Mazet Rouge is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, 5% Syrah 5%, and 5% Alicante Boucher. After vinification the wine spent six months in cask before bottling.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
More from the Languedoc: Languedoc Roussillon: Full-Bodied Red Wines for Cool Autumn Days