Every now and again you get a wine that just works. Maybe it just works with your mood, with dinner, with the Rolling Stones who knows, but when you taste it you do. I grilled up a Moroccan lamb shoulder last night with a huge side of aromatic couscous. I wanted something that would work with the flavors, with the 70f weather, with my happy mood (I had just spent the day riding the BMW through the countryside around Hartford). I found an orphan bottle of Puydeval and knew instinctively that it would work. The ’10 is a blend of cabernet franc, syrah and merlot – heavier on the cab and syrah, 14% merlot. It’s from the Languedoc region of southern France – where gorse bushes grow by the side of the motorway and baked, inhospitable soil makes vines work to survive. This is a survivor. Jeff Carrel, itinerant ex-Parisian decided that an education in law at the Sorbonne was not nearly as interesting as an education in oenology at Montpelier. I used to play (rugby) against Montpelier when I was with USAP back in the day when this sort of wine was bottled in plastic with a little plastic flip-top lid and you used to go down to the local Hyper-Marché and refill the bottle. Languedoc has come a long way since then and probably more than any other region in France it has seen the greatest increase in quality in wine – helped by Monsieur Carrel.
The wine was perfect for the meal – it’s got a lush body wrapped around blueberry and blackcurrant with a touch of tar and chewing tobacco. Shame those guys on the diamond can’t chew this – maybe then they wouldn’t spit every few seconds. Back to the wine – luscious and simple; marvelous balance between dark fruit, sweet balsamic, alcohol and savagery! This is a tamed wild animal that is ridiculous value when parked next to some CNPs or Californian stuff that pretends to be Rhone. I think it’s the way the cab franc blends into the rest of the wine – it’s like a perfect soufflé. The label might suck but try the wine – I defy you not to love it.
- Producer: Puydeval
- Vintage: 2010
- Varietal: Cabernet Franc/Syrah/Merlot
- Country: France
- Region: Languedoc
- Production: Reasonable
- Availability: Yes. $18.00pb – $15.30pb on 12
Order: Ordering is simple. Click on the e-mail link below and tell me how many bottles you think you may want. We’ll figure out the rest from there and reply to your e-mail within 1 day.