The late Andre Iche was a pragmatic wine maker. He was the first wine maker in Languedoc to break away from the traditional cooperative model of wine making and found his own winery, with his own grapes. While not considered maverick behavior today, several decades ago this was heady stuff… Alas, Monsieur Iche is no longer with us, but his family has carried on his tradition and is continuing to make fine, value-priced wine in Minervois.

I started my relationship with Château d’Oupia wines in the late 80’s, I think my first vintage was 1994 and I religiously bought the wine for successive years until about 2001. I lapsed a bit, tasting the 2003, 2005 and 2007 vintage, but only buying token amounts because the wine really didn’t “speak to me.” Then came the 2009 – There are few words to describe this wonderful wine, but the ones that rush out of my mouth are Yummy and Wow… At an average retail price of $11.99, this wine is a monumental value. My best sources indicate that the wine consists of 60% Carignan, 30% Syrah, and 10% Grenache.

My tasting note:

Ripe, fruity nose with cherry, currant and floral hints. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity and moderate tannins – Good balance. Youthful, red berry fruit with tar and blackberry jam notes – Wow! Moderate length, simple, smooth and infinitely quaffable! Drinking well now and should hold for another 2 – 3 years of aging. Superb value!