As just reward for my working well with an agent last year, I had extracted an allocation of Languedoc’s, and the Hérault’s finest, a little wine from La Grange des Pères.
Having drunk the red 1996 at El Bulli, the 1999 at Ma Cuisine, amongst others, my only experience of the white was the 2010. Made up of Marsanne and Roussane, with an occasional trickle of Chardonnay, it is a wine of relative scarcity.
I had lined it up with stewed veal with cream and morrels, but cheapskate that I am, I balked at the price of the morrels and substituted more autumnal ceps in their place. It was a mellow dish, which would not overwhelm the wine and the sauce was mopped up with celeriac and potato mash.
Tough as it can be to describe a wine in visual terms this is a wine so complete, so full, that it is best considered cylindrical – like a soil sample extracted from the earth. It is entirely three dimensional with no entirely dominating characteristic. Everything is in place. It is rich without being unctuous, mineral without being lean. There is honeysuckle, there is tropical warmth, there is breadth. Laced around this linear, cylindrical mass of fruit is a subtle, beguiling acidity which is going to keep this going for years to come.
It’s a lovely, tenderly powerful bottle of wine, expressing the best that these two Rhone varietals can achieve. Bravissimo!