WINE of the WEEK – Domaine CABIRAU La Bonte des Amis Grenache, VdP Cotes Catalanes, 2007

From the personal 13.5 acre Roussilon domaine owned by Hand Picked Selections founder and president Dan Kravitz. Located in the village of Maury, it is planted entirely to Grenache and is comprised of 12 almost-contiguous parcels on a high stony hill just below the old Cathar fortress of Queribus. 10 acres are planted with 20-25 year-old vines, with the remaining vines averaging more than 60 years old. This cuvee is named “LA BONTÉ DES AMIS” (“the kindness of friends”) after Kravitz’ friends Pascal Dieunidou and Jacques Castany (of Domaine de l’Edre), who vinified this old-vines Grenache.

Domaine CABIRAU “La Bonte des Amis” Grenache, VdP Cotes Catalanes, 2007
Tech Note: 14.5% Alcohol. 100% old-vine (over 60 years) Grenache farmed at 1.07 tons per acre and fermented for 35 days on skins with 2 punchdowns daily. It was aged in Concrete tanks and saw no oak. (If this wine included 20% Syrah and 10% other non-Grenache traditional varieties – Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvedre, etc. – it could be labeled Cotes de Roussillon but, as it does not, must be labeled Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes.)    Sensory Note: Medium purple in color with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and moderately chewy phenolics. Supple, lively fresh juicy ripe Grenache with lots of black and some red fruit. Offers some garrigue, black pepper, and earth with just enough rusticity.    Bear Note: This is perfect with such wintery foods as praised lamb shanks or beef short ribs and rich stews from beef (such as Bouef Bourguignon), lamb, game, or fowl. It also pairs well with a rich, developed Bolognaise sauce. For summer use, serve it cooler with a mixed grill. BS: 94. ($26.00)