Monday, March 27, 2006

Languedoc: Where the Schist Hits the Fan

tasting notes
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo.
If I ever had any hesitations about terroir being for real (and I haven’t, but just for kicks let’s pretend I have) all I need to do is spend another Saturday tasting nothing but wines from one or two regions to be reminded that there are some qualities of the soil that unmistakably assert themselves within the grape.

For wines from the Languedoc, it’s schist. A metamorphic rock that makes up much of the soil in the Southern part of France, its calling card is a rocky, mineral taste that puts a memorable edge around the wines that are produced there.

We tasted Bordeaux alongside the Languedocs, and while the Bordeaux were lovely, they weren't as interesting. The Languedocs came across like the brassy, sassy sister to the quieter, more demure, probably blonde, Bordeaux. Bordeaux is a lady; Languedoc is a dame.

I'd rather hang out with a dame.

Here are a few of the winners (from a field of 10) that came across during Saturday’s Wine & Politics seminar with Tyler Coleman, aka Dr. Vino (he's a political economist), at the University of Chicago Graham School:

Red Wines
  • Mas de Daumas Gassac (Vin d’Pays) 2003 $30 • a bright and balanced Languedoc

  • Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Baron (Paulliac) 2002 $50 • just what you expect from a well-behaved Bordeaux

  • And a nice white with notes of honey and butter from Bordeaux (when you’re feeling lady-like)
  • Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Léognan) 2003 $50

  • p.s. and for anyone who's interested: I didn't shame myself too badly with that Tinto Pesquera. It was pronounced "very good" by the table. (phew.) Dinner was at Riccardo's, a new Italian joint right next door to the eternal Grinder on North Clark that's still working on getting its liquor license. Until that fateful day (probably a few weeks away) there's no corkage fee.

    No comments:

    Related Posts with Thumbnails