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Chateau d'Oupia Minervois Rouge 2007

Rhone Red Blends from Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

60% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 10% Grenache

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's 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.
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Chateau d'Oupia

Chateau d'Oupia

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Chateau d'Oupia, Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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.

Minervois

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

PSNFOU033_2007 Item# 100511