Tuta's Wine

Writing under the Influence

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2009 Rozeta Corbières

April 3rd, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Though apple and peach lie brilliant on the dark,
And mineral worlds on the dark sky shine,
And the red mouth breathes in; thine is mine,
And the careless Atlantic inhales the Thames, the Tagus
and the Seine,
– Memoirs of a Turcoman Diplomat, Denis Devlin

Fruit and darkness; darkness and fruit — these are the spinning poles between which, suspended like a child’s toy on a bit of rope, we find the taste of wine.  Darkness comprises the undertow tastes, the rattle of gravel and earth in our cheeks:  tannin, wood, and loam.  For many of us, the most fun comes from wines which plant their feet in both camps: refinement and the brusque bite of the land.  And, speaking frankly among friends, these wines will not cause shipwreck in our monthly accounts.

Corbières is a region in the eastern Languedoc — beneath the Pyrenées and west of Marseilles.  It produces great quantities of strong red table wine.  But the one we have today — Rozeta — is lighter than these.  Tart and very clean.  The wine has the fresh snap of a Rhône rosé, sour and stimulating, with just enough weight for the evening meal.

Les gens at Rozeta are known for their organic practices.  The wine is a blend of Carrignan (60 %) and equal parts of Grenache and Cinsault.    Carrignan can be wild and rough — a little outré — but here it is reined in by the other grapes which smooth off the corners and add softness.

To make such a light, rounded wine from Carrignan is a canny trick.  Carrignan is  awkward for the farmer:  prone to mildew, stems too thick for mechanized harvest, late to mature, strongly tannic … but it has one great virtue.  This variety produces grapes with riotous abundance.  As much as four times as much per hectare as Cabernet Sauvignon.  And it prefers a hot, dry season.  Easy enough to make a barrel of vin ordinaire, but a near heroic use of the land and weather to coax out a wine of substance and finesse.

About $22.

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