November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
The rugged countryside of the Languedoc around the regional city of Montpelier is not as lush and bucolic as Provence. It’s drier, craggier, and at times almost lunar. That’s fine with me, it keeps the tourists away. It’s also ideal for growing the hearty wine grape varieties of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan. Julien Zarnott and Delphine Rousseau bought vineyards here in 2003 after learning the trade in the Loire Valley, and are making deliciously attractive wines from their 25 acres. They work the land by hand, adhere to organic farming practices whenever possible, and also happen to be some of the nicest folks I’ve met.
This blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah is exactly what I like about this region of France; concentrated red fruits, aromas of fresh herbs, and a dusty texture. I know, sounds gross, right? Dusty texture. But what I mean is that immediately I can picture the rocky limestone slopes, the wind depositing a fine coat of vineyard dust on the hood of the car that’s ticking slightly as it cools. And the sound….like 60 cycle hum but it’s just all the fauna; the dragonflies and other bugs. And little civilization, as far as the eye can see. So, dusty can be good.