This is something a little different. It is a 4 bottle sampler pack of wine from the Languedoc. The bottles are 375ml, which equals a half bottle or 2 full glasses. There is one White wine, a Muscat from the Minervois AOC and 3 Red blends, one from Fitou AOC, another simply from the Languedoc and this blend from the Corbieres AOC. It looks like this originally was a package put together for Whole Foods ($17 to $25), but is now available widely for close-out prices (I found it for $9.99)
The Domaine L’Oustalnau Corbieres 2013 is a Carignan based blend from an estate in the Corbieres AOC. Corbieres is the largest AOC in France much less the largest in the Languedoc. 95% of the wines produced are Red wines and Carignon comprises half of the planted vines. The Languedoc is in western France near the border with Spain and runs along the Mediterranean Ocean. In France, the area where the vines are grown and who produced the wine is more important than which particular grapes are in the blend. Are the grapes grown in a prime location and is the wine produced by a quality winery are the keys to good wine, not is it a Cabernet or a Merlot. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is an opaque plum red. The nose is red berries, faint pepper and spice. This is a medium-bodied dry wine, with solid structure and balanced fruit. It tastes of raspberry, black pepper and exotic spice. The mid-palate brings nutty, salty, cashew and black cherry. The tannins are there, you can definitely sense them, but they don’t bite. The acidity is balanced, this is a food wine. The finish is subtle and lingers for a good length of time.
The Vins du Sud Collection Domaine L’Oustalnau Corbieres 2013 is a very solid example of Languedoc wine. This is a French wine, the structure is of equal importance as the flavor of the wine. With American wine, it is usually fruit first, structure second, they think you can’t handle tannins and acidity. Also, the structure helps the wine pair well with the meal, the tannins and the acidity help refresh the palate. In America we talk a lot about wine pairing, but usually drink wine like we would a beer or a cocktail and under those circumstances fruit forward works well. So far, I am liking this Languedoc wine sampler, I will report on the other 3 wines in the next few days.