Thursday, June 3, 2010

Domaine Saint Roch Fitou 2005

11$ at the LA Wine Company. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as I never had had something from the Fitou AOC previously. I guess I was expecting value Rhone-style wine? It's probably worth reading the recap from the Wine Doctor rather than me paraphrasing what he says so expertly. Let's just leave it at this: Fitou is a village in the Languedoc, much like Minervois. I don't know too much else about this wine--it's what makes funky little wines from tiny little places more interesting. I do know that it's composed of 45% Grenache, 45% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah. Initially candied cherry (typical grenache), but over time develops into raspberry, blackberry, and maybe even some vanilla, along with several more savory and spicy scents, including tar, pipe tobacco, and earth. Medium to light bodied, with ample acidity and some tannin on the back end. The finish is a little flat, and the wine is somewhat "rustic." However, it reminds me a lot of Cotes du Rhone. You could spend a lot more on Cotes du Rhone or even some CdP, and they might not be as good as this wine for the price. This wine is a good value, and is interesting to drink. Went pretty well with some really fatty pork chops (As pork should be-- fuck all that uber-lean factory pork!) that I picked up at the Farmer's Market. Oh, and I know that the photo doesn't show it, but what's with the weird bottle shape?? Actually, what's with bottles in "table wines" period? If I could get a wine like this in a 3-liter bag in box, I would always have a box on hand. And I would probably turn into a drunk. Vintners and importers--meaning not huge multi-nationals--get on it. If you give consumers good wine in boxes, they will find it and buy it. In this case, you would have sold 4 bottles instead of just 1. B/B+

12 comments:

CabFrancoPhile said...

A bit of topic, but I am starting to try out a few of the lesser known S. France and Rhone wines. Just got some Pic St Loup and Lirac (Kermit's imports, of course). I'm a bit obsessed with Mourvedre-heavy blends, though, and the prevalence of Syrah in many of the cheaper wines deters me a bit knowing it's mostly warm climate Syrah. GSM with G>M>S is my target.

Jeff said...

Yeah, I hear you there. It's often where there are still "cheap" values...and you have to keep looking in more obscure places to really get value sometimes, what with information traveling in real time. IE everyone knows when something is a steal pretty quickly...

Also off topic, but I have found myself less and less enamored with Syrah than I used to be. Mainly, I think that it can come off as a bit clunky...I think it's the blackberry/blueberry thing. Don't get me wrong, I still like Syrah, just not as much as when I hadn't drank as much wine.

Tricerapops said...

how topical -

http://mobile.nytimes.com/article;jsessionid=81006ED6F206C96D159932AE1C506F58.w5?a=606494&single=1&f=32

CabFrancoPhile said...

Inexpensive Syrah is often a bit, well, slutty. I do like the more complex versions from cooler zones, but I think the CdP folks probably have it right: it's a secondary or tertiary blender in warm zones. Now Mourvedre, that's an interesting one, had a CA version harvested in like November . . . . and it only hit 13.5%! That was from moderate vintage, Mourvedre would be a real champ in a warmer vintage harvest earlier I'd bet.

Jeff said...

I love how spicy Mourvedre is. It's definitely got something unique going on.

I don't know if you ever read Vinegeek, but he has a cool thing he's doing called Mourvedre Monday where he gets a Mourvedre every Monday. Although, I have to say, it seems like most of the ones that he has had that I remember reading have been really over the top examples.

If you find a really good one, let me know. I'd be curious to try it on its' own.

CabFrancoPhile said...

I took a look last night at Vinegeek--most of them are definitely of the uber-ripe Paso or modern Spanish style. I did see a Bandol or two. I plan to try more of those soon, as well as a Mourvedre from Pic St Loup. Tercero and Tablas Creek both make Mopurvedres in the Central Coast that I think have a bit more structure than most in CA, though probably not so much of the funkiness I enjoy even in the cheap Spanish ones.

Jeff said...

Now that you say it, I've heard some good stuff about the Tablas Creek Mouvedre...somewhere...can't remember where. I do remember having a bottle of Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc when I lived in Oakland that floored me. There was this weird wine shop in Seattle that I went one time when I had just started drinking wine and this crazy old dude/wine salesman recommended a bunch of wines that all turned out to be an epiphany in some way--my first Cab Franc, for instance--but I also remember him recommending Esprit Blanc. It survived the trip from Seattle and we ended up really liking it when we opened it.

CabFrancoPhile said...

Tablas would definitely be more your style as CA wines go. Esprit Rouge is usually around 50% Mourvedre and is spectacular. But they also make a varietal Mourvedre. I think the Blanc is great, too.

Tricerapops said...

agreed with tablas creek being good stuff overall - just a bit pricey for me

Jeff said...

Is Tablas Creek really that expensive? I haven't even seen a bottle in a long time...

Tricerapops said...

Esprit and some of their other bottles hit above $30, which is not really my sweet spot. they do have varietals in the $20 range, but haven't really tried those.

diggin the new format of the site.

Jeff said...

Wow. Geeze...didn't realize that they were that much. You can get a lot for 30$...I don't know if I'd really spring for that these days. Maybe if I got a chance to taste and I ended up liking.

Yeah, Google has all these new templates that are more "Word Press-ish," so I thought I'd stick one on here. Make the whole operation look a little less ghetto.