30 Second Wine Advisor: A wine with a story 30 Second Wine Advisor: A wine with a story

This Week's sponsor

Winesave...for keeping opened wine perfectly

Winesave's very easy-to-use and affordable technology means any wine lover or hospitality venue can now enjoy their favourite wines by the glass without the worry of their wine spoiling through oxidation. Winesave ... for keeping opened wine perfectly.

A wine with a story

Some wine labels come with deeper stories than Little Penguins or even Marilyn Merlot. I can't say that fascinating tales make the wine taste any better ... and yet knowing those tales somehow enhances my enjoyment.

Consider for example "Les Hérétiques," the earthy, robust blend of Carignan and Syrah that we're featuring today.

A heretic is a dissenter, an individual or group who disavows the established wisdom, particularly when it comes to the dogma of an established church.

Nowadays, only the most orthodox of any belief spend much time worrying about heresy. Surely a majority of 21st century humans, not excluding most mainline believers, are likely to embrace the definition with a joking smile as a way of saying that they'd rather not park their brain at the door.

In olden times, though, heresy was nothing to joke about, and therein lies the story behind the name of this week's featured wine, the top-value Famille Iché 2010 "Les Hérétiques" - yes, "The Heretics" - a Vin de Pays ("wine of the country") from the Hérault in France's Languedoc-Rouissillon.

Briefly told, "Les Heretiques" takes its name from the Cathars, a peaceful but non-conformist Catholic sect that was wiped out by more orthodox opponents in a series of 13th century massacres including an army of Crusaders that momentarily diverted its attention from its goal in the Levant to wipe out a few thousand heretics.

The specifics of the Cathar heresy, which were rooted in definitional battles dating back to the Manicheans early in the Christian era, are all but lost to us eight centuries later. But memories in rural Rouissillon are long, and many Languedocians today still remember the persecution of the Cathars.

You'll find my tasting notes below. Enjoy it, without fear of rack or fire or headsman's axe.


Today's Sponsor

Winesave...for keeping opened wine perfectly

WinesaveWinesave's very easy-to-use and affordable technology means any wine lover or hospitality venue can now enjoy their favourite wines by the glass without the worry of their wine spoiling through oxidation. Until Winesave, to completely protect opened wine from oxidation required spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Winesave's simple recyclable can has 50+ applications of pure argon - made from the air we breathe - to keep wines in peak condition once opened.

Here's what the experts say:

* "Winesave actually works perfectly for open bottles." M. Philippe GUIGAL, Directeur General & Oenologue of E. GUIGAL, makers of more 100-point Robert Parker wines than any other single wine producer.

* "Winesave is the Krug Champagne of wine preservation systems and one simply has to try a can to become a true believer."
John Gilman, "View From the Cellar"

* "There is a new and extremely simple product available that seems to be more effective than its predecessors for keeping wine fresh in an opened bottle."
Jancis Robinson OBE, Master of Wine, wine correspondent of the Financial Times.

For more information: Winesave ... for keeping opened wine perfectly.

Click here to purchase Winesave online.


Today's Tasting Report

Famille Iché 2010 "Les Hérétiques" Vin de Pays de l'Hérault ($8.99)

Les Heretiques

Clear dark purple with ruby glints. Fresh cherry-berry aromas and flavors with a floral hint of freshly ground black pepper. Juicy but not over-the-top fruit works and plays well with crisp, fresh-fruit acidity and a long cleansing finish, 12% alcohol, a well-balanced, food-friendly flavor. A blend of Carignan and Syrah grapes. U.S. importer: LDM Wines Inc., NYC; Louis/Dressner Selections. (June 18, 2012)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with a summer mix of high-heat-roasted fresh veggies - zucchini and summer squash, new white creamer potatoes and chunks of sweet onion tossed in olive oil.

WHEN TO DRINK: Its base varieties Carignan and Syrah should assure it several years of useful life, but simple wines of this type tend to be at their best when they're fresh. Enjoy the 2010, and note that the 2011 vintage is already on hand at Chambers Street Wines.

VALUE: For lovers of the earthy, austere style of European country wines, it's hard to beat this price, and I actually got it for even less, $8.09 for the bottle with the 10 percent discount as part of a mixed case of 12 at Chambers Street Wines.

PRONUNCIATION:
Iché = "Ee-shay"
Les Hérétiques = "Leh-zeh-reh-teek"

WEB LINK:
Here is an importer fact sheet on the 2007 vintage.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
I got the wine at Chambers Street Wines in NYC, which appears to be out of the 2010 vintage but currently has a good supply of the 2011 at this link. I would not hesitate to order the 2011.

Compare prices and find vendors for Famille Iché "Les Hérétiques" on Wine-Searcher.com


Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village

Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.


Subscriptions and Administrivia

Unsubscribe:
We're sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.

Change address:
The quickest and easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address but no longer wish to get the Wine Advisor there, click the unsubscribe link below to take it off our list; if you are closing the mailbox, you needn't take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail to your old address starts to "bounce."

Subscribe to this weekly E-letter (free):
http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor

WineLoversPage.com RSS Feed (free):
http://feeds.feedburner.com/wineloverspage/tzva

Wine Advisor Archives:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/archives.php

Sponsorship Opportunities:
For information, E-mail wine@wineloverspage.com