Chateau d'Oupia Minervois Rouge 2007
Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
60% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 10% Grenache
The Wine Advocate - "Iche has crafted a 2007 Minervois Tradition that smells of ripe cassis and black cherries tinged with resinous herbs and bitter fruit pit and toasted nuts, elements that all contribute to its almost silken-textured palate impression where one finds underlying richness of salted beef stock and dark chocolate. In the best manner of its vintage, we have here a combination of richness and elegance. The finish of chocolate-covered black fruits, bouillon, and herbal concentrate is not in the least superficially sweet, but instead remains possessed of real refreshment, with the cyanic note of cherry stone and tincture of iodine offering lasting, subtly bitter counterpoint. This exceptional value should be a delight over at least the next 2-3 years. "
Chateau d'Oupia Winery
André Iché inherited an impressive 13th century castle and a large estate in the barren Minervois region. Iché, now in his mid sixties and never a member of his village coop, tended his very old vines and made his wines but sold everything in bulk to local négociants. Fifteen years ago, a Burgundian winemaker happened to be in Oupia, tasted Iché’s wines, and was so enthused that he convinced Iché to bottle and market his production. Since then, Iché has become an eternal twenty-year-old. He has expanded his vineyard holdings and now also vinifies several cuvées of Minervois with the best production, the Cuvée des Barons and Nobilis, aged in new oak barrels. He has rebuilt a cellar, and is now contemplating buying and cleaning up some overgrown and steep terraces that have been abandoned since the late 19th century. View all Chateau d'Oupia Wines
About Languedoc-Roussillon(LAHN-guh-dock) (ROO-see-yohn) France. The region stretches along the land above the Mediterranean, bordered by the Rhone river on the east and almost reaching Spain on the west. Only 10% of the wines from the area are AC, with the remaining wines often landing in the Vin de Pays or Vin de Table category. Wines in the Vin de Pays category are classified here as Vin de Pays d'Oc.
Notable Facts80% of the wines here are red. The grapes of the neighboring Rhone region are popular, with the focus on Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and to a lesser extent, Carignan. White grapes include Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette and other white Rhone varieties. Parts of the region are also enjoying success with international varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. For many of these international style wines, you'll see the grape variety on the label – very un-French, but since they qualify as Vin de Pays d'Oc, it's allowed. Not so for the AC wines of the region, which are relegated to using most of the regional varieties and labeling their bottles by region. Appellations in the Languedoc include Corbières, Minervois, Costières de Nimes, Banyuls and the largest of them all, Coteaux de Languedoc. Corbières and Minervois are found on the western side of the region and produce sometimes very concentrated red wines. Costières de Nimes lies just southwest of the Rhone and produces wines of comparable character. Banyuls creates decadent fortified wines with Grenache and Coteaux de Langeudoc does triple duty, using international and regional grapes to produce white, red and rose wines that are often fantastic values.
RoussillonA region located between the Spanish border and Languedoc, Roussillon is often mentioned in conjunction with Languedoc, but is an entirely separate, albeit smaller, area. Producing white, red and rose wines, Roussillon is in the Catalonia region, which bleeds into Spain and France. The area has equal amount of Spanish influence as it does French. It is most well-known for Banyuls, a potent dessert wine made from concentrated old-vine Grenache. Vines are old and planted on steep, rocky, terraced hillsides overlooking the coast. The region is also making still wines, mostly from Grenache but with a good amount of Carignan as well.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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