It’s no lie – I love the wines of southern France. Whether it is the massively complex and age-worthy wine of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or some lovely, quaffable rose from the Côtes de Provence, many of my desert island wines would hail from that part of France that lovingly hugs the Mediterranean Sea.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I would love the 2010 Château Coupe Roses from Minervois. Named for the French term for “fortified farm,” La Bastide is a youthful explosion of flavors with enough structure to give it some serious aging potential. Made from a blend of old-vine Carignan and Grenache, (and yes, in France old-vines actually means something) the wine is filled with all the great terrior elements that make southern French wines so appealing.

The winery and vineyards are situated north-east of Carcassonne, which is located in the heart of the Languedoc. The climate is classically Mediterranean with warm, dry sunlit days and cool, still nights and promotes slow, steady maturation of the fruit. The vineyards are influenced by altitude, planted on barren, stony hillsides at between 800 to 1,200 feet above sea-level.  The soils are composed largely of clay and chalk, which are perfect for retaining heat in the evening (chalk) and water during the day (clay). Large manganese deposits give the eponymous faded rose coloration to the top soil.


My tasting note:

Earthy nose with dried herb, black cherry and anise hints. Full-bodied with moderate acidity and firm, tight tannins. Good balance. Youthful with a nice dark fruit core. Gamey with briar patch, red berry and deep, cocoa notes. Needs time – very tight, but showing some nice complexity offering great potential. Should be really showing well in about 5 to 7 years, if you can wait…

At an average retail price of $14.99 per bottle before discount, this wine is a stunning value!