Lascaux is the site of some of the oldest and best preserved Paleolithic cave paintings, dating back over 17,300 years. In my History of France in Ten Glasses class, Lascaux is where it all starts and we usually serve up something from Côteaux du Languedoc, or sometimes Provence. The caves contain well over 2,000 figures, which have been categorized as animal, human and abstract runic signs. The animals represent large species that have been identified primarily from fossilized remains. The site is a fascinating look into our ancestry and the incredible poise that these ancient peoples possessed.

A little while back I wrote about “one that got away…,” referring to a 2007 Château de Lascaux that was simply joyous. Well, in working through the last group of wines reconstructing the Harvard Faculty Club list, I tasted the 2009 vintage from this producer. Like most of what I’ve tasted from 2009, the wine was chock-full of fruit. Where the 2007 had presence, structure and focus, the 2009 has panache, drinkability and gregariousness. The 2009 is primarily Syrah (60%), with Grenache (30%) and Mourvedre (10)% as helpmates. At an average retail price of $15.99 per bottle, this is another nice find. By the way, the artwork on the label is a representation of some one of the cave paintings in Lascaux.

My tasting note:

Ripe, dense nose with blueberry, cherry, tar and dried herb hints. Full-bodied with moderate acidity and dry, well-integrated tannin – good balance. Peppery with black cherry and blackberry jam on the palate. Violets, rosemary and white pepper notes abound. Smooth and enticing. Moderate length – young. Drinking well now and should hold for another 2 to 3 years in the bottle. A good value.