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Friday, May 13, 2011

Wine Tasting - Chemin des Olivettes Coteaux du Languedoc 2009

"Wine is bottled poetry."
 - Robert Luis Stevenson

Hello everyone!

Tiffany and I spend a few hours outside on Saturday breathing fresh air, eating delicious vegetables, and sipping a magnificent French wine.  It was a comfortable 88-degrees on the shaded back porch overlooking the bountiful sunshine seeping through the tree limbs onto the back yard.  Humidity was low and there is no better time for a glass of wine than the present?

2008 Chemin des Olivettes Coteaux du Languedoc

Point Score A:  89 (91 with Vinturi)
Point Score B:  88 (90 with Vinturi) 

Appellation:  Languedoc Roussillon, France
Grape Varietal(s):  35% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre
Other:  Appellation Coteaux du Languedoc Controlée
Retail Price:  $8.99
Vintage:  2009
Producer:  Cave de Roquebrun
Alcohol:  13.0%
Calories:   91 per 4-ounce

Tasting sheets as follows.

Reviewer A
Reviewer B

This wine selection reeked of traditional French red wine from the first sniff to the final sip.  Elegant, classic and old-world style.  I couldn't put my finger on what I was smelling but Tiffany nailed this one.  It was the mushroom & mold that she sensed on the nose.  We both noted similar fruit notes on the palate as well as the intense tannins coating our tongues.  I noted heavy "windows" on the swirl.  Windows?  It that slow and thick coating of the wine which slowly sweeps down the sides of my glass after the swirl.  Some wines drain from the sides quickly but not this wine.

Ironically, we both noted during our testing that decanting would improve this wine.  Tiffany notes "bottle to open up" and I noted that we needed to use our Vinturi on the second pouring.  A Vinturi is a device that oxygenates the wine replicating approximately an hour in a decanter.

Tiffany pours through a Vinturi aerator

After the second pour using the Vinturi we both immediately noticed an immediate improvement.  "Wow!"  What an amazing effect.  We both agreed that the second glass brought about a 2 to 3 point score improvement to the wine.  It softened the tannins and enhanced all of the fruit notes of this wine.  Trust me, this wine is best served decanted. 

The label reads as follows:


 Location:  Cave de Roquebrun lies 30 km north of the town of Béziers, in the beautiful Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc.

Grape Varieties are grown on schistous south facing slopes and harvested by hand at optimum ripeness.

 Vinification:  Uncrushed bunches of grapes are fermented whole, in a process called carbonic maceration which gives deep colour, soft tannins and maximum fruit flavour.

 Tasting Note:  This beautiful purple-red wine displays intense aromas and flavours of red berry fruits with a rich, silky palate and a long, smooth, complex finish.

 Food Matching:  The perfect partner to red meats, game, casseroles and characterful cheeses.

  This wine is bottled unfiltered to ensure maximum flavour and richness.  Over time, this may result in a light, harmless natural sediment."

If you trust us enough to go purchase a bottle of this wine (we purchased ours a our local Costco Warehouse Club), do yourself a favor.  Pour the first glass fresh from the bottle.  But ~ For the second (and subsequent) glass, first decant the wine.  Leave the bottle uncorked and breathing for over an hour, use a classic decanting vessel for about an hour, or use a Vinturi for a single pass.  Not the differences in both the tannins (tartness) and fruit flavors.  The second glass is much, much softer and the bold flavors are screaming upon the palate as this wine dances towards you tummy! 

Hi-dee hi-dee take-the-wine-decanting-exercise-ho my friends.

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