Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Chateau Rivière Cuvee Prestige Minervois 2009

Today I am continuing my exploration of the Languedoc Roussillon region of southern France. The first wines that I tried from this area were all from the AOC of Minervois. Situated in the northwest corner of Languedoc Roussillon, Minervois is a relatively large AOC in the greater region. Formed in 1986, the AOC now has 220 private wineries and 30 co-op wineries. The AOC allows both white and red wines; however, the reds make up 94 % of the region's production. The main red wine grapes allowed by the AOC are Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvedre, and there must be a blend of at least two varietals for any AOC wines The Chateau Rivière Cuvee Prestige Minervois 2009 is made from a blend of Grenache and Syrah. In your glass you get a wine with a deep red color with a bit of purple hue to it. On the nose there are aromas of blackberry and black raspberry fruit with a little bit of black pepper as well. On the palate you get beautiful and pure blackberry fruit up front with a hint of spice. Mild tannins and decent acidity add a little balance and structure. This wine is a great value at $10 a bottle. There is no single element of it that blows me away, but it's a very well balanced wine that would pair nicely with grilled pork or even a simple beef stew. It would also work very well with assorted cheeses and charcuterie. Cheers!

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