Back in the USA tasting notes in hand

At the end of Living in the U.S.A. Steve Miller yells, “Somebody give me a cheeseburger!” and tomorrow that is probably exactly what I will be thinking as I head for lunch. Today however, I feel like I am still half in France and half back home. It is sunnier and warmer here in Houston than it was in Montpellier, if only the weather is taken into consideration. But I already miss France and the people I was fortunate enough to meet there.

On the other hand, this morning I had freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee with cream instead of milk. Then I slipped on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and slid behind the wheel of my old Ford Mustang. When I turned the key I was greeted by The White Stripes screaming from my speakers about some button that was causing them a bit of difficulty. As I turned it up even louder it occurred to me that home may not be Montpellier, but it has its own set of charms. That helps temper the jet lag and the slight sadness brought on by the feeling of not having seen enough, done enough, or tasted enough. Then again, that is kind of how I live my life.

Our trip was fantastic from so many vantage points, but the reason we were flown over to Languedoc was to taste the wine. We sampled so many fantastic bottles it would be impossible to mention them all, but here is the first list of some that really stood out.

One more thing…all of these wines are organic. In Europe that means something different than in the US, but a lot more on that in a future post.

isa vin de paysisa Vin de Pays – Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre, Cabernet Saugvignon, Pinot Noir. This blend has a very good GSM character, but gets added structure from the Cabernet and a little extra fruit from the Pinot. A very enjoyable wine.

Pure Pinot Noir – Like the label says, this is 100% Pinot Noir. And like the label also says, it has black cherry notes. My notes concur as they said, “Black cherry and earthy nose. Light, with great fruit flavors and a fall leaf finish.” It must be true, oui?

Chateau de CaraguilhesChateau de Caraguilhes AOC Corbières Rouge
Cuvée Prestige 2007
– A blend of 35% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, and 10% Carignan and aged 9 months in French oak barrels. My notes say that it was delicious and tasted of blackberries, currants, strawberries and fresh earth. I guess that means that I liked it!

Monplezy Plaisirs 2009Domaine Monplezy Plaisirs 2009 – A blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. Plaisirs means pleasure, and that makes this wine very aptly named. Nice black currant, blackberry and spice on the nose that follow on to the taste. Good balance and structure. An excellent example of just how good many of these wines are.

Domaine Brau Chardonnay 2009 Vin de Pays d’Oc – 100% Chardonnay. Brilliant gold color. Very clean citrus nose with the slightest hint of jasmine. Bright lemon and apple flavors. Nicely balances the fruit and the acidity.

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