Tonight I am relaxing with a bottle of lovely wine from the south of France from one of my favorite chateau in the Languedoc region, the 2009 Chateaux des Karantes Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape. This particular producer was one that I first encountered a few years ago at a charity wine tasting, and having met the winemaker, I fell in love with the product! From the gorgeous vineyard right along the Mediterranean coast to the spicy bold wine, this is certainly my favorite French wine outside of Bordeaux. Now the wine itself is a blend of Syrah (60%), Mourvedre (30%) and Grenache (10%) that is a classic style of the south of France.
The wine itself is a lovely deep ruby in the glass, and the nose is a wonderful combination of intriguing aromas, from some lovely toasted oak, faint floral notes, anise, cocoa powder and a bit of earth. The taste is delightfully subdued at first, which is surprising given how fruit forward so many GSM blends can be. Instead, this one opens with some lovely notes of ripe berries and plum, which transitions to some baking spice and dark chocolate midpalate. The tannins are nicely structured, supporting a long, smooth, dry finish that makes you immediately crave another sip.
Overall, I would rate this one a solid 8.5, it's still pretty young but drinking beautifully now, with some good aging potential as well. I bought this from my local wine merchant, G.B. Russo, and I think it was around $20, so a pretty good value for a wine of this quality. Tonight I am enjoying this with some crab cakes and sweet potato fries, as the richness of the starch and spice of the crab cakes really balance the richness of this wine. The perfect end to a long week, bon appetit!