Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chateau de Fountgraves Pic Saint Loup Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé 2007


Here is one of those wines that sat in the rack a long time for no good reason.  I seem to remember my wife picked it out, no doubt based on the way it looked or the romantic nature of the French name. 

I must admit I've been swayed by marketing aspects before.  I bought a wine called "Pinot Evil" once.  "Purple Haze," "Red Zeppelin" and "7 Deadly Zins" appealed to me for non-wine related reasons.  I try not to fall prey to the marketer's tricks, but I'm only human.  Often, the wine is good enough to stand on its own, anyway.

At a very fancy wine bar in Half Moon Bay, a sommelier asked Denise what kind of rosés she liked.  "Pretty ones" was her reply.  The sommelier was amused, but he understood the logic.  Who wants to drink an ugly wine?

Anyway, the Chateau de Fountgraves Pic Saint Loup rosé is very pretty.  Its rich, salmon pink color looks wonderful in the glass.  Some very fine bubbles cling to the glass, too.

The label promises that this rosé is made from grapes taken from very old vines grown on shale soil in the south of France.  It's amazing - not that the grapes were taken from old vines - but that a French wine label would bother to tell you such a thing.  The label also tosses around words like rich, full, fruity, dry and aromatic.

The nose is rich with a smell that reminds of mayhaw berries we used to pick when I was a kid, or more precisely the smell of said berries being cooked as my mom made mayhaw jelly from them.  The somewhat offbeat berries begin to show a fruity brightness in mid-sniff.

A blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, it's the Mourvedre which speaks to me on the palate.  The chalky limestone is typical of Coteaux du Languedoc.  The terrior of this region really hits home with me.  The flinty edge which shrouds the gentle fruit in this wine is a real treat for anyone who wants to not only know where a wine is from, but taste where it's from, too.

The alcohol clocks in at 13.5% abv, and I think it cost about $10, but it has been in the rack a while and my memory is a little hazy.