Chateau de Pena Cuvee de Pena VDP des Pyrenees Orientales 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
A medium-bodied wine offering aromas of black cherries and light spicy, smoky notes with soft, silky tannins on the palate.
The Wine Advocate - "The as usual Carignan-based red 2009 Cuvee de Pena is simply the finest of its illustrious bargain-priced breed that I have tasted (and I go back 20 years with this cuvee and its predecessor), which also makes it a mind-boggling value! Clean and polished, concentrated but unexaggerated, this delivers sweet fruit with soil and soul. Ripe cherry, black raspberry, and purple plum are shadowed by their distilled counterparts in a high-toned nose and practically gush on the palate. Pungent, resinous herbs, smoky black tea, toasted pecan, brown spices, and crushed stone all serve for aromatic and gustatory interest, leading to a brightly juicy yet deeply rich finish. Buy it by the case, or buy it by the bag-in-box; delight and - if you dare reveal its price - amaze your guests over at least the next couple of years, though quite possibly longer. (And we wine snobs need to stick this into some blind tastings to put quality-price rapport into perspective, and perhaps some prejudices to rest.) "
Chateau de Pena Winery
You will find the village of Cases de Pène in Roussillon, about ten miles West of Perpignan on the D117 road. The word “Pena” means “rock” in Catalan and referred in the Middle Ages to the castle perched on a rocky mountain spur which dominates the valley of the River Agly. Here vines rub shoulders with olive trees, almond trees and maquis in a typical Mediterranean landscape. View all Chateau de Pena 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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