2014 Domaine d’Aupilhac ‘Cuvee Aupilhac’
The wines of Languedoc have been dissed for years, if not centuries, partly due to snobbery (the people and therefore, the vineyards of the poor, hot south were not of the same quality of those of the cooler, richer north) and partly due to fact (the southwest really did produce literally buckets of inexpensive, unremarkable ‘bistro’ wine for generations). Refrigeration changed all that; controlled fermentation and storage allowed for the production and transportation of better wines. Additionally, warm climate wines came into vogue; the consumer delighted in the fresh and fruity styles produced in the new world. The pendulum had swung; before anyone had ever heard of Robert Parker, Emile Peynaud was preaching the gospel of ripeness in Bordeaux.
The ripe, rich, fruit forward, New World style was being made in Languedoc, Provence, the Southern Rhone Valley and parts of Spain for generations, but suddenly it was respectable. But Languedoc is still the red-headed step child; it’s still the land of plonk in the eyes of the wine elite.
The vineyards of the Fadat family have grown grapes since Roman times. The site is really quite unique; high elevation, southwestern facing, terraced vineyards, soils comprised of ancient marine fossils and raw limestone. Organically farmed, hand tilled, meticulously pruned; the vines produce wines of sensational balance; ripe blackberry flavors married with herbaceous notes, smooth tannins and bright acidity.
This wine overperforms; it should, as it’s typically not this inexpensive. It’s a good value at $20…its absurdly good at $11.99