Posted on December 1st, 2010
This week, I cracked open the Les Obriers de la Peira from an appellation called Terrasses du Larzac in the Languedoc.
Gary Gubbins, founder and owner of Red Nose Wine in Clonmel has a penchant for the Languedoc. In addition to his knowledge of the deep south of France, he has an uncanny ability to pick real gems from an area that is known, at least in recent history, for its co-ops and “bulk wine”. The area produces massive volumes of wine.
Anyway, why does the Les Obriers de la Peira get a look in for wine of the year? Let’s take a step back to see what I look for in a wine. It’s really too things
- The first thing is freshness. Does the wine feel and taste refreshing?
- Is it balanced? Another way of looking at this is to ask if anything sticks out (badly). Is there too much tartness, is it too jammy, is there too much spiciness or heat at the end? Is there too much oak or too much of anything else? Does it leave the mouth too dry?
I also look at other things like grape typicity and some other good stuff, but the above are my main “benchmarking” criteria. Everyone will do this kind of thing subconsciously, in subseconds, if they’re paying a little attention to the wine. However, sometimes sine tasting can be different to wine drinking so I just as often don’t pay much attention to a wine I’m drinking as to when I’m tasting.
Anyway, I’m in danger of getting very longwinded. Whether you’re tasting or drinking, paying attention or not paying that much attention, I reckon the Les Obriers de la Peira will blow your socks off and set a new benchmark for what wines from the Languedoc can taste like. For me, the freshness was out of this world. There’s amazing balance, elegance and a “femininity” too, which wouldn’t classical Languedoc, if such a thing exists. You’d normally associate “femininity” i.e. delicate, scented, and fresh with Margaux or some Burgundy appellations, but let’s not get too bogged down.
Oh, and the details.
So, if you’re still reading (thanks, Mum), the grapes which go into this exquisite wine are:
Gorgeous aromas of rosemary, thyme, lavender, eucalyptus leading onto a gorgeous taste of red bramble berries and refreshing touch of mint. The texture is amazing, the freshness and balance. Wow.
A wine for our generation
A previous generation could have sampled some of the best Bordeaux had to offer. Thanks to crazy en primeur campaigns and the new demands in the east, we don’t get to sniff them, let alone buy them. If the Languedoc were ever to be ever classified as the left bank of Bordeaux was in 1855, then I’d put my neck out and say that Les Obriers de la Peira would be in the “first growths”, the top tier.
It’s an exquisite, “luxury” wine and one that everyone should try, at least once.