From: Languedoc, France
Blend: Carignan, Grenache
Taste: Upon tasting, you get a nose that's a confluence of spicy, brambly wild raspberry, dark cherry, and earthy tones. This wine defies expectations. It is vibrant, flaunting juicy acidity combined with restrained tannins. It portrays a beautiful balance of raspberries, blueberries, cedar, blackberry, and spices. This medium-bodied wine has a compelling tannic structure, ensuring it stands up to robust foods.
Pairing: Regarding pairings, think of rich, hearty dishes, from roasted turkey or duck to a flavorful cassoulet, lamb meatballs, and eggplant lasagne. Whether it's mushroom risotto or a charcuterie board for an evening soiree, this wine promises to be the star that elevates every culinary experience.
Eggplant Baked With Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata
By Florence Fabricant
About. In the world of wine, the Languedoc region of France has been making waves, capturing attention with its shift in quality. This change concerns not only wines from irrigated flat vineyards but also from the exceptional hillside vineyard sites in AOCs like Minervois, Corbières, and Coteaux-du-Languedoc.
Château d'Oupia stands as a beacon of this quality. The story of André Iché is one of dedication to craft and serendipity. Inheriting a grand 13th-century castle in the arid Minervois region, Iché distinguished himself from his peers by staying independent, tending to his aged vines, and selling only to local négociants. It was a chance tasting by a Burgundian winemaker that led to Iché bottling his wines, expanding his vineyards, and innovating with cuvées aged in new oak barrels. His journey included refurbishing an old cellar and reviving abandoned terraces, transforming them into wine-producing marvels. Today, Marie-Pierre, André's daughter, continues his legacy, leading the estate with expertise from Fabrice Lopez and a team deeply rooted in Minervois tradition.
The terroir of Minervois, situated in the south of France, imparts a unique character to its wines. The 2021 Château d'Oupia Les Hérétiques IGP Pays d'Hérault (Rouge) is no exception. This wine boasts a blend of 80% Carignan and 20% Grenache, grown in clay and limestone-rich soils. The sustainable farming methods adopted by the vineyard, coupled with vines that have witnessed three decades on average, ensure a deep-rooted authenticity in every bottle.
Les Hérétiques gets its name in homage to the Cathars, a group of Christian heretics based in Languedoc, tragically eradicated in the 13th century. With its label originally crafted by Joe Dressner, there's an intertwining of history and art that elevates the wine's story.
As for the winemaking process, the Carignan undergoes carbonic maceration, with some vines celebrating over a century. Meanwhile, the Grenache is destemmed and takes its time, macerating for almost a month in concrete tanks. Post-fermentation, the two varieties unite, aging harmoniously in tanks before being bottled.
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