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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

A Languedoc favorite that I've been following since the 1990 vintage, this reserve-type bottling from Château la Roque was one of the first wines of the region to break out of the pack as a quality wine of real interest -- and to this day it hasn't yet begun the price escalation that takes so many newly "discovered" wines out of the bargain range.

Château la Roque 1995 "Cupa Numismae" Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup ($12.99)
Very dark garnet. Delicious though elusive aromas, hard to tweak out: blueberries, dates and coconut. Bright, mouth-filling fruit over a big structure of acid and firm tannins. There's a lot going on in there, with potential for substantial development in the cellar. U.S. Importer: Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, Calif. (Jan. 12, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: I constructed a simple country-Italian dish of brown mushrooms in an anchovy-laced tomato sauce over penne to go with this wine, and the combination clicked. The hearty wine seems to smooth out and integrate the robust, spicy pasta.

SIMILAR WINE: See my notes from the following day on another quality Languedoc red of the same vintage, Domaine L'Aiguelière 1995 "Tradition" Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux ($10.99) Also compare the Cupa Numismae's non-reserve partner from 1995, an excellent buy in a low-end table red.

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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