Bright blackberry scents get a spicy kick from notes of freshly cracked black pepper. A lightly herbaceous hint is reminiscent of garrigue--what the southern French call the aromatic tangle of low-lying shrubs and wild herbs that blankets the region, redolent of lavender, sage and thyme. Supple and lively, this juicy, medium-bodied blend is filled with tangy huckleberry and black currant fruit flavors, generously spiced with pepper and touched with a note of earthiness.
Black currant, huckleberry, blood orange, mushroom, forest floor and white pepper.
Wine has been made in France's Languedoc region since ancient times, but its emergence as a premium wine district began in the 1990s, when many Languedoc producers turned away from cooperative winemaking and began to vinify grapes themselves. Mas des Capitelles is a quintessential example of the modern Languedoc winery. Located in the subregion of Faugères, this 60-acre property has been in the Laugé family since pre-Revolutionary times. The father of current proprietor Jean Laugé founded the cooperative winery in Faugères during the 1930s. Jean Laugé helped run it until 1999 when, together with his sons Cédric and Brice, the family turned the property into an estate winery. The Laugés take great pride in their wines: they farm the vineyards organically, strictly control yields, and pick and sort the fruit by hand. The resulting wines display generous flavors and beautifully balanced intensity. Cédric, who is now in charge of winemaking, blended this cuvée using half Mourvèdre, a velvety, spicy red grape that gives the wine its gorgeous purple hue.
This soft red makes a fantastic partner for quick-cooking meats that have a hint of earthy flavor, such as lamb, duck or game. Beef and pork will also work well, especially if accented by ingredients that play to the wine's spicy or earthy notes. Look for recipes incorporating mushrooms, olives, lentils, mild spices and peppercorns. Alternatively, fresh green herbs are a great match with young reds, especially those that, like the Mas des Capitelles, have a hint of herbaceousness. Recommended dishes include lamb kabebs, roasted pork loin, or braised beef with mushrooms. Of course my Chiarello Chicken and White Bean Chili with Veggies won't let you down.
"Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read." ~ Francis Bacon