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2008 Cuvée des Colosses – Rich, Red, Languedoc Wine

Price: $118/6 ($20/bottle) SOLD OUT

Our good friend Yorick is a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy, wont to set the table on a roar. He is well versed in fine literature and wine. We’ve asked Yorick to join the team at Elie Wine Company and periodically browse our inventory for some hidden gems — sometimes obscure, always a good value — and share them with you. Alas, poor Yorick! He cannot hold his wine, or much of anything for that matter. But he does have exquisite taste.

Yorick’s very first selection is a fascinating Languedoc red wine. Labeled as a mere Vin de France from Hérault, and with the vintage year printed only on the cork, you might pay no heed to this bottle sitting on the shelf unless you recognized the name Baptiste Cuvelier.

With the current family holdings including Léoville-Poyferré, the venerable second growth Bordeaux house in Saint-Julien, Baptiste Cuvelier has wine roots that go back to the early 1800s. He now runs production at Cuvelier Los Andes, located in Mendoza’s Valle de Uco. But it was the 2008 vintage when he sourced handpicked, organically grown Languedoc grapes (45% Syrah, 40% Carignan, 15% Grenache) for Cuvée des Colosses.

The fruit was sorted in the field, and then transported in refrigerated trucks. The Syrah saw three week traditional Bordeaux-type fermentation in a four-year-old French oak vat. Half of the Carignan and all of the Grenache were fermented together in a stainless tank, the other half of the Carignan was fermented using the carbonic maceration method to preserve aromatics and reduce tannins. The blend was made mid-May and the wine, unfined and unfiltered, was bottled in late August 2009.

We purchased five cases of Cuvée des Colosses after a visit from Baptiste Cuvelier in 2010. Upon release it was rather muscular but after a few years in our temperature controlled shop it has evolved into a charming wine with a bounty of fruit, soft tannins, and an overall roundness that allows for easy drinking with everything from simple grilled vegetables to lamb or beef shawarma.

It doesn’t appear that this particular cuvée was ever produced before or after the 2008 vintage. So here is an opportunity to taste both a quality Languedoc red with a bit of age that has been stored properly, and a singular creation that may never occur again.

Yorick - Colosses

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Posted on 2013.05.23 in France, Languedoc-Roussillon


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