The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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Page 80 of 119

{ }  81 A Sampling of Styles The SOMM Journal's Publisher/Editorial Director, Meridith May, and Senior Editor Karen Moneymaker tasted through a group of Languedoc wines from local Los Angeles retailer K&L WineMerchants. At L.A.'s République restaurant, May and Moneymaker paired assorted dishes with each of these wonderfully developed food wines—their top faves—to help their best tasting notes emerge from the dégustation. The wines proved to over-deliver on taste and value and pro - vided an astonishingly impressive experience. Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux (SRP $13) A blend of 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin Blanc and 5% Chardonnay. The nose sings with lemon chif - fon, while the palate for this sparkling wine takes a stonier approach, melded with lanolin; sweet, savory, waxy with a touch of earth. Blanquette is a local name for the Mauzac grape, which is the dominant grape here. The name Blanquette ("whitey") comes from the whitish undersides of the leaves, which when blown in the wind make the vine appear whitish in color. imported by Premier Wine, Richmond, CA Château de Lancyre 2013 Pic St-Loup Rosé, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc ($18) The lovely blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Cinsault emerges with a fine, dry palate: dusty and lightly fruited with minty garrigue notes. A sub - tle beauty. Lancyre is now viewed among the top estates of Pic Saint-Loup, which is one of several areas being considered for "Cru" status. imported by Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, VA Château Viranel 2013 "Tradition" Blanc, Saint-Chinian ($13) A blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Vermentino, 15% Roussanne and 5% Bourboulenc makes for a waxy textured, salty soap and lime, complex white. Floral-toned, evolves to be more unctuous by the minute. imported by Premier Wine Château Viranel "Le V de Viranel," Saint-Chinian ($20) 60% Syrah/40% Grenache—such a New World style! Rustic tannins, great acidity and wonderful fragrance, from rooibus tea to cherries and milk chocolate. Anxious white pepper and heady tobacco ream through the fruit. imported by Premier Wine Domaine Pas de L'Escalette 2013 "Les Petits Pas," Languedoc ($19) Earth and tobacco, snappy- rich dark fruit, bittersweet choco - late, wrapped in a cedar perfumed tobacco leaf. The typical Grenache pucker and the wild, tart notes of cranberry currant and raspberry from the Carignan are con - stant pleasure in a lush body. This blend of 45% Grenache, 45% Carignan and 10% Syrah can rival any Southern Rhône contender. Twenty-five acres of vines are planted on stone-walled ter - races known locally as clapas, which nestle in the 1,150-foot-high hillsides at the foot of the region's large and rugged Larzac pla- teau. The soils, deep limestone and clay, are overrun by flocks of ewes, from which the milk is used to make the world famous Roquefort cheese. imported by Joli Vin Imports, Richmond, CA The SOMM Journal Senior Editor Karen Moneymaker and Publisher/Editorial Director Meridith May tasting through Languedoc wines at République in Los Angeles. Château Viranel "Tradition" Blanc 2013, Saint-Chinian pairs with a smoked salmon terrine with avocado, lemon, capers and shaved onions. Château de Lancyre 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Pic-St-Loup Rosé is not a wallflower and pairs beautifully with an earthy salad of wild mushrooms, faro, lentils, kale in a sesame-ginger vinaigrette. A dry-aged beef burger is a delicious match for Château Viranel "Le V de Viranel" Saint-Chinian.

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