Monday, August 08, 2005

Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois la bastide 2003

Since Chris is getting slack (and watching the Dolphin's pre-season game) I thought I'd do a little posting of my own. I'm still learning (as I imagine I will always be) so bear with me. This will be brief.

Last night Chris cooked Thomas Keller's simply roasted chicken, which has become quite a staple in our house. Lightly crisped on the skin, pure juice inside. Side dishes were glazed parsnips and a salad of baby spring lettuces dressed with good balsamic vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper. It really pays to buy good balsamic, even if its a little pricier than your garden variety vinegar. Trust me on this one. You can probably find something decent in most national grocery stores, although we buy ours at Whole Foods or order it on line. Earthy Delights has a good selection on line for this and other gourmet items. I recommend you check out their website.

The wine was Minervois 2003 la bastide, which Chris tells me is a region in Southern France near Roussillon (sp?). The producers or winemakers are Franciose Frissant Le Calvez & Pascal Frissant. That may have more meaning for you than it does for me.

I understand this wine is likely composed of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, and perhaps some of the other less widely known varieties from the region, as well. We didn't choose the wine specifically for the dish; it was just something we picked up on a whim and had in the "drink-now cellar." For fifteen dollars, it's not a bad buy. It wasn't as noticeably fruity as many of the wines we've had from the Rhone. The dominant notes on both the aroma and palate were olives (Chris) and black pepper (me). There was a woodiness to the wine, but without oak, and some subtle, dark fruitiness that could be described as not-terribly-ripe black cherry, maybe even a little prune. I wouldn't recommend this wine with anything terribly flashy, as it would overwhelm the wine's subtlety. Not my favorite wine, but we'd buy it again.


1 comment:

Christopher said...

I must thank Stephanie for picking up the slack for me. I'm lucky to have her palate and her prose to back me up.

I happened to like this wine better than she did, though. As she noted, the aroma opened with olive notes - not those underripe or funky olive smells you sometimes get with Carmenere or Cab Franc, but real, yummy olives. It had a pinkish-purplish color and a medium body, making it perfect for the chicken. Stephanie also nailed the cherries and prunes on the palate. The finish was soft, perhaps a bit too much so, though.

This is really the kind of wine I like to get for $15. Balanced, dry, subtle yet interesting enough to play with a variety of foods. It would be great with pork, chicken, or quail.