Domaine de Nizas Languedoc Rouge 2005
The 2005 vintage for Domaine de Nizas was dry and warm. Rain fell at the beginning of September, followed by good weather, which made the grapes mature perfectly. Cool nights produced balanced acidity, adding freshness to the wine.
This wine is deep garnet in color, with fragrant aromas of blackberries, bilberries (European blueberries) and spices. The distinctive herbal notes commonly found in wines around the Mediterranean called garrigue—lavendar, sage, rosemary and wild thyme—speak to the wine's regionality and terroir. The palate is well-balanced and clean, becoming round and full-bodied, with soft, ripe tannins and a long finish. Enjoyable now or age for up to five years in a cool cellar.
This powerful and elegant wine is an ideal partner to Mediterranean dishes such as a lamb tangine with candied grapes and almonds of braised duck with mushrooms. Serve at cellar temperature and open one hour before tasting.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Located near the medieval village of Pézenas in the heart of the Languedoc region, Domaine de Nizas was established in 1998 by Franco-American agriculturist, John Goelet, a member of a distinguished family in Bordeaux. With Bernard Portet at his side, a fellow visionary in the world of wine rooted in respect for tradition, they shared a driving ambition to create great wines in exceptional terroirs. This led to the creation of Clos du Val in Napa Valley as well as Taltarni and Clover Hill in Australia. Portet identified the terroir around Pézenas as one of extraordinary promise. Individual plots which represented three different soil types, or terroirs, were acquired to create Domaine de Nizas which would allow them to craft high-quality artisanal wines that express the spirit of the Mediterranean. Portet then worked with the local team on a major replanting to match the right grape varietals to the different terroirs. In 2018 the iconic French winemaker François Lurton took the helm of all viticultural and winemaking activities
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
Tasting Notes for Rhône Blends
A Rhône blend is a dry, red wine and will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Perfect Food Pairings for Rhône Blends
Rhône Blends work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Sommelier Secrets for Rhône Blends
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.