Finally, I found Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008. (Many thanks go out to Holly!) It’s number 85 on The Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2010. That’s a good reason to get a wine. Plus it’s a 91-point wine for only $14 or $16. But I wanted it because it’s from Lascaux, where there are some great cave paintings.
That’s one of the more famous paintings. It’s probably most famous because it seems like there is a narrative, a story, going on here, but no one knows what the story is. It’s mysterious. More so because most Paleolithic paintings don’t have stories. Most are images. There are very, very few cave paintings that appear to tell a story. I’m not sure if a story is going on here. It may be a palimpsest of images.
But what of Coteaux du Languedoc? Is there a story here? Well, it is the oldest vineyard in France. Some say the Greeks put vineyards here around 5 BCE and some say 500 BCE. Either way, it’s old, but not as old as those cave paintings. Coteaux du Languedoc is then divided into many appellations. Chateua de Lascaux is located in the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.
Of the Pic Saint-Loup appellation:
It’s probable that those living here 2800 – 2400 years BCE already drank Pic Saint-Loup . . . After all, wild vines – lambrusques – were growing way back then.
Wines from this appellation are required to be have at least 90% Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre combined. The other 10% can be Carignan and Cinsault. This wine from Chateau de Lascaux is 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre, which meets the requirements of the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.
Other appellations have different requirements. For a break down of each appellation’s requirements and a brief history of Coteaux du Languedoc, visit the Languedoc Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée website.
For more information about Pic Saint-Loup, read the Pic Saint-Loup press pack. Interestingly, the press pack says:
Vine cultivation started largely with the Roman occupation around 120 BCE. Since then it has constantly expanded.
(I don’t know why they say Romans when other sources say the Greeks were the first to plant in Coteaux du Languedoc. Maybe they were both there? [shoulders shrug])
Held up to the wet sunset sky where snow (big, fat snow flakes of snow) had been falling much of the afternoon and early evening, the color of this wine is bright purple. It looks vibrant and happy.
The nose is delicious. Vanilla and and and, ah, it’s like vanilla cream. After a couple of swirls, new smells arise: cranberry and pepper. There might be cherry, too. And I pick up some truffle oil. Truffle oil. That’s what is making me happy inside. Truffle oil. Truffle oil is always happiness to the body. I smell it and all sorrows go away.
To the taste.
This is pleasant up front with cranberries and plum. The body is cool and deep. The Mourvedre is making for a tart finish, or a high acidic finish. The tartness while mild endures on the finish.
This is an enjoyable wine, but it needs some food to cut the tart finish.
This would go good with eggs. Eggs, toast, hash browns, and ketchup. This would be a good breakfast wine. Though, who has wine for breakfast? Hmm. Maybe I should go to the Brockport Diner.
I say this is a B+ wine. It could probably benefit from a few more years so the acidity can mellow a bit.//
ADDENDUM (4-18-11 a.m.): This becomes a solid A- with some food. It went perfectly well with some spicy chow mein noodles and veggies that I made.//
ADDENDUM (4-18-11 p.m.): About 24 hours later I had some more. It was so much better. It was a new wine. The tartness was all gone. It even tasted a bit like garlic bread. This wine either needs lots of time to open up or a decanter. I’m now giving this an A.//