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post #28
bio: rich
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9/25/2009
13:46

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Wine of the Month

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The Dorkiest Wine of Summer 2012
Let's open that bottle of bubbly with a knife
Santa brought me an Ah So
Wine of the Month: Malbec
I like drinking wine. I also like buying wine.
Things Drunk: 1970 López de Heredia Vina Tondonia


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This month was the south of France

This month was the south of France
For whatever reason September has been full of other things to drink and there was some travel and anniversaries and all that and basically I am just now sitting down to think what to drink for this month and have just opened the first bottle.
Busy month.



Where
Languedoc-Roussillon is a region in the south of France right down there on the coast of the Mediterranean west of Provence. People seem to concentrate more on the Languedoc region than Roussillon. Both regions have a history of large producers churning out inexspenive wines and they are trying to shed that reputation. The Languedoc just seems to be doing it quicker and maybe better.

This area is just crazy. There is a lot of stuff happening down there and I am not sure if I can pull out a lot of generalizations.
Some common grapes. Some crazy crazy grapes.
Some normal wine producing techniques. Some crazy ones.
The NYT's Eric Asimov just wrote a column about the Languedoc on the 15th...
"In a tasting recently of 20 bottles of red from the Languedoc, the wine panel found them still to be all over the place stylistically. But the level of high quality in the winemaking was unexpectedly consistent."


He summed up basically why I wanted to drink these wines all month. Good quality. Wide range of styles. I get the feeling that you could spend the year drinking only Languedoc wines and not get bored.


Say What?
"Long-Dock"
"Roo-see-yawn"


Grapes
There is a lot of blending happening in the Languedoc. Traditionally the grape Carignan was the dominant grape, but it's declining. You'll find a lot of Grenache (one my faves), Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsaut (used for a lot of rose wine), and some Cabernet and Merlot.
Plus, from my experience, some little grapes that I have never heard of.

So, you have a lot of grapes. And a lot of blending. And variety in wine producing techniques. This all equals the possibility of a wide array of styles.


Regulations
The majority of the wines produced here (+/- 85%) aren't "AC" wines - meaning they don't have super strict regulations on area, grapes, techniques, labeling. In a way, it's similar to the New World regions like in California. For instance, unlike most of France, many of the wines that come from here have the grape name on the label.
Crazy! Who'd thunk.


Let's Go Shopping
You little wine shoppe should have some wines from here. Go pick up a bottle.






View Languedoc-Roussillon in a larger map



The World Atlas of Wine

The Oxford Companion to Wine

Oz Clarke's New Encyclopedia of Wine

The Botanist and the Vintner

Noble Rot

A Tale of Two Valleys




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Wine maketh glad the heart of man