Sunday, February 24, 2008

2004 Domaine Sainte Leocadie Minervois Fernand Averoux

Price: $14.99

Region: Minervois, Languedoc Roussillon, France

Grapes: Grenache, maybe some Syrah

The other night we had on OTB (Open That Bottle Night – Wall Street Journal Event) the 2004 Leocadie Minervois. We wanted to have something new we have not had before. I have had a Minervois or two in my time at tasting events and many were not so great. Then again a wine like this at a tasting may not impress as it’s not built to do that as it’s not a big, over the top wine - it’s not showy. I never had enough time to see if they were interesting enough to get me to look to them further. This wine has done that. Also, my palate at those times was a lot less up to speed on Southern France.

Minervois is a small village in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. The grape content was not easy to find, but from what I can taste it seemed like it had a lot of Grenache, if not 100% maybe a dash or two of Syrah. By law in Minervois to call a wine Minervois it has to be composed with at least 60% Grenache, Mourvedre or Syrah.

The color was dark red and lighter at the edges. The nose aroma had lots of floral aromatics - roses and lilacs, some Provencal herbs and wild berry fruits and a wee bit of smokiness and that funky southern France aroma. The funk on the nose is pretty standard for many Southern French reds and is not an “off” aroma. In fact in some cases I like it and expect it in certain wines if it is in the right context and not too funky. In the mouth blackberry attacked the palate with mellow tannin and was met half way by lots of roses and tobacco. The finish was perfectly refreshing because of the good acidity level.

This wine was great because it did not try too hard. It was prefect just the way it was. Even if it reminded me of a Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape (CdP), it did so without trying too hard to do so. When something or someone tries to hard to be something it is not they tend to overcompensate for what it can not achieve and thus falls out of balance. This wine does not do that and is primarily what makes it great, its balance.

STAY TUNED - I just had the bottle of "The Show" Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa that was sent to me by The Rebel Wine Company...stay tuned!


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