Domaine d'Aupilhac Montpeyroux Rouge 2017
Three generations of Fadats have farmed the lieu-dit known as Aupilhac, in the village of Montpeyroux, across the river Hérault from Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères. While the Fadats have farmed this land since the 19th century, it wasn’t until 1989 that the current member of the family, Sylvain, finally registered the domaine as a vigneron indépendant. Aupilhac sits at a high altitude, nestled below the ruins of the village’s chateau, at almost 1200 feet above sea level on terraced land. The soils are rich in prehistoric oyster fossils, which lend incredible length and minerality to the wines. In Sylvain’s words, “We believe that work in the vineyards has far more influence on a wine's quality than what we do in the cellar.
Surrounded by the Terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc-Montpeyroux is a small AOC (750 acres under vine) defined by its northerly location, windy weather, and clay-limestone soil. Approved for red wines only, the region’s vignerons (of which there are fewer than twenty) grow the great southern French grapes, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvédre, blending in Carignan and Cinsault as needed. Cooled by altitude and the winds off the Massif Central, the wines are fresh with acidity, ripe from the southern sun as well as, complex, meaty and deep. A gem of Languedoc wine waiting for the wider world to discover, Montpeyroux is a wine place you want to go!
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.