Some of you may recognise this, as I've written about it in a past vintage, but it was a while ago, and as the current vintage is drinking so well I felt it was time to revisit it. I haven't re-read the original post, but maybe it will be a fun exercise to compare the 2006 to my current one.
This is a very authentic, traditional, French country table wine. It's made by 11 farmers working together on 90 acres of land in the southwest of France, inland from the Minervois area. Cotes du Millau is the appellation, but this coop group represents approximately 75% of the production due both to the small size of the region and also the unusually high quality of this group's wine making; farmers don't really have a reason to go it alone. I like to think that this is how wine was made in the less famous wine regions a generation or two ago. All the vineyard labor is done by hand due to the rough terrain and numerous streams that run through the vineyard.
Grapes: 50%Syrah, 30%Gamay, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Fer Servadou
Aroma: raspberry, a hint of old leather, cherry, cedar, and (I don't know how much this will resonate with you, but) animal fur. In this case, by animal fur I mean farm animals, but clean well taken care of ones! Like a nice friendly cow in her manger that nuzzles your hand. Striking a chord? No? Oh well. I was in a barn last week and still have the smells and associations in my head.
Palate: Bright and medium bodied, with nice smooth texture, this is great simple, satisfying wine. No, it's not elegant or refined. But neither was Johnny Cash and it worked just fine for him! The texture here is smooth and it's easy to drink, but it has a rustic, brambley flavour behind the cherry and cranberry fruit. The tannins are there, but not too intense; certainly in step with the rest of the wine.
This is an undeniably honest wine that's hand made and is approximately $12 retail. Something about all the flavors and smells of this wine is undeniably (for me) reminiscent of rural life, farms,... I'm going to just stop now. This is great stew or roast chicken wine. And you can get it at the Rosemonts, Freeport Cheese and Wine, Whole Foods, and the Oh No Cafe.