Le Loup dans La Bergerie 2012, Eric Solomon Import
From highly regarded winemaker Jean Orliac, Domaine de l'Hortus, Languedoc, comes this most enjoyable wine. A stainless fermented blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Merlot, and 30% Grenache makes the case plainly for why wines from Pic St. Loup are in demand. Red purple in your glass, the nose is red fruits, yes, strawberry, cherry and raspberry, but also licorice and mint. The palate is silky with round tannins and a good blanace between fruit and spice, including a little cinnamon and maybe cardamom, with a toasty note on the finish. medium bodied, this is a let linger on the tongue wine! French wine merchant, Letikett, says Le Loup is "an unpretentious wine that offers immediate pleasure." BTW, Letikett is out of stock! Serve chilled at about 59F. This wine is the whole package, the outside looks great on the table and it would be very difficult to find fault with what's inside the bottle. The name? Le Loup dans la Bergerie means the wolf among the sheep.
About the Winery:
The Pic St.Loup appellation is found in the hills some 20 km north of Montpellier. Whilst many of the pretty villages on the drive up from the city have been tamed and ‘gentrified’ into dormitory settlements , there remains a sense of wildness cramming in from the fringes, and this becomes more readily apparent when the dramatic crags of Pic St.Loup and the Montagne de l’Hortus come into view. Domaine de l’Hortus is nestled into the valley between the two, and must surely constitute one of the most idyllic vineyard locations anywhere in France. An hour or two spent walking through the vines in the warmth and silence of an early summer’s evening, the brooding presence of the limestone crags on each side, is perfectly capable of being an experience bordering on the sublime. The estate was founded in 1979 by Jean & Marie Thérèse Orleac when they purchased a substantial plot of old scrub vines and olive trees in the valley here. Due to the backbreaking work of planting and establishing the vineyard, it was to be another decade before they were able to produce their first wine. Vine husbandry has been organic from the outset, and there is a strong philosophy of sustainability which is echoed in the iconic and recently extended wooden buildings here, the design of which more seems to owe more to something from perhaps Oregon than to any southern French tradition.
The Orleacs, who have been joined by son Yves and daughter Marie, now have some 60 hectares under vine, which include some rented and farmed parcels 25 kilometres away which supply the ‘Loup dans la Bergerie’ cuvées. The original vineyard produces Syrah, Grenache & some Mourvèdre from the warmer and more exposed slopes of the Massif de l’Hortus itself, and there is some Chardonnay, Muscat and Viognier which go into the lovely white cuvées.
The reds are finer grained than many in the Languedoc, sometimes austere in their youth, but developing notes of cherries and wild herbs, with fine tannins and excellent acidity, the Grand Cuvée particularly bringing polish and refinement, the whites creamy, floral and zesty and capable of ageing beautifully.Amongst their wines which we have in the shop is one of our best sellers, the gloriously ‘gouleyant’ and irresistibly labelled red 2012 Le Loup dans la Bergerie. At a very friendly £9.75 a bottle if you buy in half-dozens, there is no excuse not to try it.
Serve with MK Squash Master Cajun Summer Squash Recipe
- 2 pounds yellow summer squash, sliced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 6 green onions, with green, chopped, reserve half of the green part
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 thick slices French bread, torn in small pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
- bread crumbs
Boil squash in lightly salted water until tender. Drain. Melt butter in large saucepan; add all but half of the chopped green onion tops and the chopped celery. Sauté until tender. Soak bread in milk, gently squeeze out excess milk. Add bread, squash, sugar, and remaining onion tops. Blend well.
Pour into a 7 x 11-inch baking dish. Dot top with butter. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crumbs are brown.