Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Rhône is by far the better known and produces consistently better quality wine. It's most famous output is Chateauneuf du Pape, and its wine tend to be a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and typically Mourvedre, Cinsault or Carignane.
But the Languedoc also has a very long and proud tradition of making wine since the days the Romans brought vines to this land nestled on the Mediterranean just north of Spain. Winemaking here has had its ups and downs, so it's wine is sniffed at by those who favor Burgundy or Bordeaux.
But we're in an up cycle, and that means bargains for the wine buyer, if you're willing to work your way through an occasional so-so bottle of vin.
The vineyards of Chateau d'Oupia are 100 years old and sit on the barren hillsides of the Minervois section of Languedoc. Proprietor André Iché has quietly been making good wine without the benefit of a big marketing campaign. He just keeps putting out what wine reviewer Robert Parker calls "ideal bistro wine ... with gobs of rich, peppery, red and black fruit."
This red wine, the 2009 Chateau d'Oupia Les Hérétiques, is a blend of Carignan and Syrah grapes. It probably won't get a 90+rating, but it should score in the high 80s, and at $10 that's still a great bargain.