This mini-series, full of my latest arrivals, promises to take each and every one of us back to the early days long past. Many of you will remember those days, hopefully as fondly as I, when I began to share with you my travels through the vineyards and country-sides of France. These stories were my personal accounts and tasting notes acquired while visiting some of the most respected and well-reviewed estates and wine-makers of our generation. Sharing these tales brought great satisfaction for me. Returning to these stories, as these old friends now return to our shop, brings me thoughts of rekindling days long past.
The first estate I’d like to re-introduce to all of you was one I discovered on a buying trip back in the late Spring of 2002. This trip, retraced for many of you upon my return, would take me throughout literally hundreds of miles and dozens of wineries. Many wines and estates were shared with all of you, and this was one many of you may remember. The latest release, the 2006, is a masterpiece.
As I made my way down the Autoroute du Soleil, the A7, I had finished my visits in the outskirts of the southern Rhone vineyards and would now be focusing my attentions further to the south and west. The Autoroute now became the A9 and I was headed to the capital of the Languedoc, the city of Montpellier. An unquestionably modern city, filled with practically every offering to please even the die-hard Paris fanatic, this bustling city, just 6 miles from the Mediterranean coast is a true sight to behold. But it would not be the city I was after on this visit, no, it was a particular and famous winery just outside the city that beckoned my palate today.
Located less than 2 miles from the heart of the city, the Chateau Flaugergues and its gardens and vineyards could easily be another country away. I simply can not put into words the stunning beauty one encounters at this 17th century Chateau. Built as one of the many aristocratic “follies” for the uber-wealthy of the time, the Chateau is complete with Doric pillars, a breathtaking inner staircase and more antiques and fine art pieces than you could imagine. Entering this place is a moment in time; a mental photograph I will never forget.
And then there are the wines. The top cuvee, that I will discuss today, is called the Cuvee Sommeliere (appropriately) and it stands toe to toe with any wine from the Chateauneuf region and head and shoulders above anything I’ve consistently experienced from the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation. Bottled under the more controlled appellation designation of La Mejanelle, this cuvee is comprised of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah and is bottled as the Chateau’s flagship wine. Consistently a recipient of excellent to outstanding marks from Wine Spectator and Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, this cuvee is destined to showcase the great work of today’s best wine-maker in this competitive appellation.
2006 Chateau de Flaugergues Coteaux du Languedoc ‘la Mejanelle’ Cuvee Sommeliere
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah Dry red table wine
La Mejanelle, Languedoc, , France
Review by Cepage Noir
E*Newsletter Winter 2009
“An OUTSTANDING wine worth your serious attention that will impress and offer memorable drinking experiences.” CN
Drink: 2009 – 2019
“Nearly opaque, ruby purple color; a glass coating / staining color. Intense Syrah nose combines deep plum notes with classic smoked meats and game characteristics. Bring on the Cote Rotie vernacular! With air, we discover nuances of dark truffle, anise and black licorice; a singular aromatic profile of incomparable complexity for this region. This is world class juice. The palate shows powerful, structured, tightly wound texture yet unctuous dark fruits. Miles of red raspberries dusted with dark cocoa cascade over the palate. Just a fantastic mouth-full of wine!”
— Cepage Noir