Estate: Named the “The Biodynamic Apostles of the Languedoc” by Wine Spectator, Chateau Maris is located at the eastern edge of the village of La Livinière at the foot of the Montagne Noire Mountains, in the Languedoc region of southern France. With a goal of “creating “grand cru-level” wines from La Livinière in the Minervois appellation, winemaker Robert Eden took over the estate in 1996. Eden converted the entire estate to biodynamic farming after trying different methods to revitalized the soils that had been rendered unusable due to the previous owner’s overuse of chemicals. Over the years his green approach and biodynamic processes have gained much recognition. He has built “the world’s first hemp cellar” that functions carbon neutrally. The hemp bricks not only capture carbon dioxide, but also maintain temperature and humidity so that heating or cooling is not needed.
Winemaking: Hand harvested from vines with a mixed soil of sandstone and clay, fermented for 1 month with natural yeasts in large concrete tanks.
Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, raspberry, brambly vegetation, peppery spice and a shake of funk. Ripe, juicy fruit [blackberry cherry cranberry] is accented by a savoury streak, fresh acidity and good tannins. Crushed rock minerality, black pepper and a trace of licorice comprise the lengthy finish. Easy drinking on its own or with a wide variety of dishes, a phenomenal value. [It was fantastic with soy chorizo, roasted pepper, mushroom, ricotta, mozzarella and cotija pizza.]
IGP Coteaux des Peyriac
Enjoy now thru 2019
Straightforward with clean, pure flavors this fantastic light red is great on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It was excellent with roasted cauliflower & bok choy, baked tofu & sesame rice.]
Estate: Chateau Maris is located at the eastern edge of the village of La Livinière at the foot of the Montagne Noire Mountains, in the Languedoc region of southern France. With a goal of “creating “grand cru-level” wines from La Livinière in the Minervois appellation, winemaker Robert Eden took over the estate in 1996. Eden converted the entire estate to biodynamic farming after trying different methods to revitalized the soils that had been rendered unusable due to the previous owner’s overuse of chemicals. Over the years his green approach and biodynamic processes have gained much recognition. He has built “the world’s first hemp cellar” that functions carbon neutrally. The hemp bricks not only capture carbon dioxide, but also maintain temperature and humidity so that heating or cooling is not needed.
Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of dried rose petal, red fruits, black pepper, and a bit of rosemary. Vivid cranberry, cherry and plum flavours glide across a spicy undercurrent and agile tannins in the light body. Fruit, spice and traces of crushed rock minerals comprise the succinct finish. Straightforward with clean, pure flavors, this is fantastic on its own or paired with just about any dish. Enjoy with a slight chill as the fruit really pops.
80% Carignan, 20% Grenache [Percentages taken from the tech sheet on the winery’s website, listed as 100% Carignan by Wine Advocate.]
Vin de France
Bottled by EMB 30258
Enjoy now thru 2018
Rated 91 points by Wine Advocate
Warm and spicy, embodying the sunny island from where it was crafted, a cozy Carignan for sipping on its own or pairing with a wide variety of dishes.
Winery: Cantine Sardus Pater is located on the island of Sant ‘Antioco, off the southwestern coast of Sardinia. It was founded in 1949 and began producing wines in 1955; today the cooperative has 200 members and 300 hectares of vineyards, the majority of which contain vines over 50 years in age. Although other grapes are grown, such as Vermentino and Monica, Carignano is the main focus of the winery.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from ungrafted vines in sandy soil, vinified in stainless steel and aged 3 months in the bottle. ‘Is Solus’ takes its name from a Roman fountain located in the center of the town of Sant ‘Antioco, and the label displays a Roman mosaic from the archaeological museum in the city. [Two felines drinking from a krater, from which spring ivy leaves, symbolic of Bacchus [or Dionysus] the god of wine and winemaking.]
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with cozy aromas of sweet raisin and clove. Straightforward cherry flavours culminated in crushed white peppercorn, clove and hints of sweetness on the hearty finish.
Carignano del Sulcis
Estate Bottled by Cantine Sardus Pater Coop. Agr. Sant’Antioco
$14 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2015
On my last visit to NYC I only had a short window of time to stop in at one of favourite wine shops, and additionally could only purchase as much as I could carry home on the train. I feel I was successful within those parameters, coming home with 6 bottles each under $10! As I tend to find IGP wines to be super tasty and excellent values, I was enthusiastic to give Domaine Tour Boisee Carignan 2012 a pour.
Domaine La Tour Boisee is a family estate founded in 1826 and located in the heart of the Minervois appellation in southern France. Today the estate consists of 200 acres of vineyards over 2500 olive trees, some of which date all the way back to the 17th century. Marie-Claude took over the estate in 1982 from her parents, and along with her husband Jean-Louis, himself from a long line of grape growers, and both are passionate about tending to the terrior and old vines. The grapes for the 2012 Carignan were sourced from 55 year old vines.
Inky red-violet in colour with aromas fruity aromas of plum, blackberry, raisin and baking spices. Blackberry and cherry jam flavours joined hints of cinnamon in the medium to full body, whilst spicy crushed black peppercorn and sweet raisin elements comprised the velvety finish. A straightforward balance of jammy fruit and cozy spice, this is a phenomenal value with each sip encouraging you to reach for more.
Coteaux de Peyriac Red
Mis en Bouteille au Domaine Marie-Claude et Jean-Louis Poudou [Estate Bottled]
Enjoy now thru 2015
The celestial map on the label and economically friendly price of Château d’Oupia Les Hérétiques Pays d’Hérault 2011 caught my eye, the blend of Carignan and Syrah had me fancying it even more. Whilst preparing butternut squash ravioli with a Canadian cheddar, honey chèvre and cilantro sauce, I enthusiastically gave it a pour. In 1860 the Iché family purchased the 12th century Château d’Oupia. In 1969 André Iché renovated the vineyards and cellar, he was one of the first winemakers in the Languedoc to break away from the local co-op and bottle his wine. He focused on quality over quantity and played a significant role in propelling the region forward from being known for bulk wines to terroir driven bottles filled with distinct character. After his death in 2007, his daughter Marie-Pierre runs the estate in the same tradition as her father.
Inky purple with dark crimson highlights, after aerating aromas of red current jam on toast radiated from the glass. Jammy blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry flavours were supported by rich earthy elements in the medium to full body. Gingerbread spices and earthy iron minerals comprised the moderate finish. Straightforward, brimming with fruit, earth and a pleasant food-friendly acidity, this is a fantastic value and wonderful companion at the table.
90% Carignan, 10% Syrah
Mis en Bouteille by Famille Iché
Enjoy now thru 2014