Good Things From the South

Good Things From the South

Posted on Feb, 07. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

It seems that the old adage, “Everything is better in the South” can sometimes extend outside of the USA. Today I am talking about Southern France. I was sampled on two bottlings from Domaine Du Pas De L’Escalette recently, a prominent producer in the Coteaux Du Languedoc region of the greater Languedoc itself. Both bottlings were stunning and bear our attention, but I have chosen to focus on the one as it fits my own peculiar drinking habits at the moment.

The first wine I tasted was the higher tier 2007 ‘Las Clapas.‘ A quick check on Cellartracker shows that this wine is getting a 90+ rating from the public domain, a review that I could not agree with more. The wine is excellently composed, the first impression is of refinement like a sophisticated Chateauneuf Du Pape producer might expect from his wine. The Guild cost would be $16-$17 Grand Cru, it is an excellent Grenache based blend with only a peppering of rusticity. This was the Mozart but the second wine, the basic wine, was the Paganini, and that my friends is the what I am listening to these days.

The 2008 Domaine Du Pas De L’Escalette, ‘Les Petite Pas’ (40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah) is one of the most elegant red everyday drinking wines I have come across in some time. One would not expect such smooth refinement from a gnarly old Southern blend such as this; it’s there, I don’t know how but it is there. What’s more is the composed rusticity of this wine, the edge of spicy fruit and brambly sun dried earth that awakens the palate like a sharp staccato played against the refinery. This is no Caprice, this is The Duets for Violin and Guitar – harmonious but more for the parlor than the hall.

If you don’t listen to Paganini this will mean very little. I loved this wine as a classic full bodied blend from Languedoc with much more composure than one would expect from that place combined with all the playfulness of an everyday drinking French red from the rural south. The palate is smooth and full from top to bottom with red fruits and a dark spiciness and the wine delivers a trick of the senses feeling meaty and full but never seeming more than elegantly light to medium. It is refinement from a tumble weed.

I once remarked of a rustic Italian wine that it would be the prefect wine to have on your table if you lived in an idyllic country villa in that place. For me, this is the wine I would want unlabeled on my farm table if I lived in the South of France for all my quests to partake of when they visited, an extension of a life there. The wine speaks of the place without being showy, it is everyday and tireless.

I recommend this one for all palates and all red wine foods.

2008 Domaine Du Pas De L’Escalette, ‘Les Petite Pas’
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $11.00 • Premier Cru: $11.50 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $15.00
Buy Now!

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