[Image: Bunch of Grapes]
Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


Meeting of the Languedoc Posse
My visit to Oklahoma City this week (Nov. 3, 1997) prompted a sociable gathering (with good food and good wine) with online pals Bob and Carolyn Spector and Bob and Janice Baron. As you'd expect of this group (also known as the Oklahoma Chapter of the Languedoc Posse), the wine list was heavy on the good wines of the Languedoc and Southwestern France, along with a polite bow in the direction of the Loire and Germany.

APERITIFS
Weingut Franz Künstler 1992er Hochheimer Kirchenstück Riesling Spätlese
Very pale gold. Odd, pleasant herbaceous aroma, grass and hay over apple-like Riesling fruit. Full, delightful fruit flavor, apples and citrus, sweet and tart. Importer: Cellars International, Carlsbad, Calif.

Domaine Bru-Baché 1994 Jurançon Sec Cuvée des Casterrasses.
Bright straw color. Faint aroma, almonds and white fruit, opens up a little in the glass. Nice bitter-almond flavor also develops with airing and persists in a very long finish. Excellent wine but really too young. Importer: Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, Calif.

Domaine des Baumard 1989 Savennières
Bright brass color. Lovely mineral and floral scents, aromatic and ripe. Delicious flavor -- Bob Spector nails it as "fruit compote" -- with nuances of flowery perfume and golden raisins. Rich yet tart, dry yet so fruity that it almost seems sweet. Shows the glory of an older Savennières, with years of life and development left. Importer: Classic Wine Imports, Boston.

WITH DINNER
Domaine d'Aupilhac 1995 Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
Very dark garnet. Luscious black fruit and garrigues, the classic herbal scent of lavendar that infuses Languedoc and Provence. Big, brawny, a boatload of fruit over firm acidic structure and huge tannins. Long and full, still quite young. Importer: Kermit Lynch.

Domaine Peyre Rose 1993 Coteaux du Languedoc Clos des Cistes
Dark garnet. Earthy, garrigues and "forest floor" aromas and garrigues. Good black-fruit flavors and dark chocolate, brooding, somewhat closed but still impressive. Importer: Willett Distributing Inc., Alexandria, Ky.

Domaine l'Aiguelière 1993 Coteaux du Languedoc CÔte Dorée
Inky dark reddish-purple. Potent garrigues and brett, horsey and leather. Earthy and organic on the palate with ripe black fruit; eating grapes in the Augean Stables, but it works. Full and lasting; as with its stylistic cousin Tempier, this is not a wine people feel neutral about; love it or hate it ... I like it very much indeed. Importer: Willett Distributing Inc., Alexandria, Ky.

Domaine de la Grange des Pères 1993 Vin de Pays de l'Herault
Clear garnet. Ripe red fruit aroma and a luscious flavor, deeply extracted fruit with a touch of sweetness that makes it an easy quaff. A real fruit bomb, markedly different in style from the Coteaux du Languedocs on the table, but easy to quaff and appealing; we all keep going back for more. Importer: Kermit Lynch.

Food match: All the preceding wines, earthy and robust, made remarkably good matches with an antipasto of assorted Italian sausages and with Carolyn Spector's superb lasagna, demonstrating that Mediterranean flavors easily cross national lines.

AFTER DINNER
Dr. Parcé Domaine du Mas Blanc Rimage 1989 Banyuls
Hazy ruby color with an amber edge. Portlike aroma, raisiny stone fruit. Full, ripe red-fruit flavor, sweet and strong, very long in the finish. Importer: Vineyard Brands Inc., Chester, Vt.; a Robert Haas Selection.

Food match: This still-young Banyuls gave a striking demonstration of the conventional wisdom that Banyuls makes an ideal marriage with chocolate. Paired with chocolate mousse cake and with the dark Ghirardelli chocolate icing a New York cheesecake, this soft, portlike red transmuted into something deliciously akin to chocolate-covered cherries. A delight!

For notes on another outstanding value from Southwestern France, see my report on the Alain Brumont Chateau Bouscassé 1994 Madiran Vieilles Vignes.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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