Wine of the Week-Drink This Wine!

Marcillac! “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” Domaine du Cros 2006

Here is a wine that tastes like no other and cannot be imitated.

Tougher than a cowboy and just as polite.  

Marcillac is the name of the place and lies in Southwest France a little bit below Bordeaux and west of the Cotes du Rhone.  The soil is red clay heavy in iron oxide, and boy you can taste it.  The predominant grape that is planted here is  Fer Servadou, or known locally as Mansois.  Fer translates into iron, did I mention you can taste it?  The summers are long and hot thanks to the Mediterranean influence, the winters though can be brutally cold.  The best sites for grapes come from sloping and terraced hillsides that look south.  The area gained AOC status in 1990 and only allows red and pink wines.

Domaine du Cros led by Philippe Teulier has been producing wine for four generations and has grown to become one of the largest independent growers in the region.  By largest meaning 25 hectares, about 60 acres, bottle production is around 7000 cases.  Pretty small compared to the local wine cooperative.  The Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (which means old vines, 80 year old vines!) is aged a year and half in old large chestnut barrels before release to soften its animal character.  It has big, bloody structure, ripe red, savory, peppery fruit and a beautiful balance.  Recommended to be drunk within 3-5 years but supposedly can last up to 10.  I say if you have a bottle, drink it now, if you have 2 bottles, drink one now and one tomorrow.  It is gorgeous.

I had it with a simple meal of Italian sausage from Belmont Butchery (so it is Italian sausage, still works, actually it is Italian style sausage made right here in Richmond from Virginia pigs so it can be called Richmond sausage) browned with a little butter, onion, garlic, rosemary, beans and some reduced red wine.  

$16, imported by Wine Traditions

One Response to “Wine of the Week-Drink This Wine!”

  1. Pierre Says:

    “Tougher than a cowboy and just as polite”, it’s funny, because in France, to say that a wine is particulary strong and bitter, we say “Vin de Sheriff”. “Sheriff’s wine” because the bottles of big red popular wine had, in the past, 3 stars molded near the neck.

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